Sky posts strong results, announces VOD launch

BSkyB has edged closer to its year-end goal of signing up 10 million customers, with 96,000 new additions for the first fiscal quarter, and has announced the launch of its Anytime Plus connected TV video-on-demand service.

Sky now has 9.956 million customers. The company sold 893,000 additional products in the quarter, up 13% year-on-year, with 2.3 million now taking triple-play services, up by 39%. Sky added 178,000 broadband customers in the quarter, along with 215,000 net additions to its HD offer, taking the latter to 3.254 million customers. The company had less success with its multi-room product, posting additions of 37,000, down from additions of 62,000 for the same period last year. Sales of additional products pushed ARPU to £514 (€580) per annum, up from £469.

Sky is also launching Anytime Plus, its new internet-delivered VOD service, on Tuesday. Customers with Sky Plus HD set-tops will be able to connect to the Sky Broadband network to access the services, which will complement the Sky Plus DVR and existing Anytime push-VOD service. Subscribers will be able to choose from a library of 600 films as well as drama series and other programming. The service will use progressive download technology, allowing viewers to begin watching before shows are fully downloaded. The Sky Broadband base now stands at 2.8 million customers.

The pay-TV operator posted revenue of £1.526bn for the quarter, up 15%, and Adjusted EBITDA of £335m, up 20%.

“Today’s results show that our consistent strategy is delivering an excellent performance in a challenging environment. Strong top-line growth is converting to accelerating profit and earnings,” said Jeremy Darroch, CEO. “Operationally, we have made a very good start to the year with 96,000 net customer additions and record take-up of our additional subscription products. In particular, our focus this quarter on home communications has been rewarded with our highest ever take-up of broadband, telephony and line rental, alongside further good growth in high definition.” He said that Sky planned to open a new contact centre next year, creating 500 jobs.

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