Golf added to stable of sports

Sky sees highest customer numbers in nine years amid strong growth

Sky FortitudePay television company Sky, which has just added the Open Golf tournament to its sports portfolio, has picked up the highest number new customers for nine years and reported strong growth in across the business.

Half year figures for the satellite broadcaster beat City forecasts with adjusted operating profit to the end of the year up by 16% to £675m on revenue 5% higher at £5.6 billion.

Sky, which changed its name from BSkyB,  said other services such as Sky Store on-demand had also performed well. It is also producing more original drama with 160 currently in production. Fortitude, its most expensive drama, has launched in five markets.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s chief executive, said the company had  “delivered an excellent operational and financial performance.

“The strength of our performance in the UK and Ireland shows that our approach to segmenting the market with the complementary Sky and NOW TV brands is working.

“Alongside our continued strength in the UK and Ireland, the acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland gives us an expanded opportunity for growth. Both businesses had a strong quarter, Germany posting its highest ever customer growth and Italy showing resilience with good customer growth in a challenging economic environment. Integration is progressing well and we are excited about the potential for the three businesses to be even stronger together.

“The simultaneous launch of Fortitude, our ambitious new original drama, to 20 million customers across all five markets, shows the potential we now have to operate at greater scale. This is just the first of many opportunities we have to launch new products and services for customers in the months ahead.

“Six months into the year, we’ve seen a good performance right across the new Sky. We have world-class capability within the expanded business and a strong set of plans that mean we are well placed to deliver growth and returns for shareholders.”

Sky has lifted its interim dividend by 3% to 12.3p a share.


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