Sky profits boosted by strong demand

Sky Deutschland Image copyright Sky Deutschland

Pay-TV broadcaster Sky has reported a 20% rise in operating profit helped by strong demand across Europe.

Sky said operating profit for the nine months to the end of March was £1.025bn, up from £854m a year earlier.

The broadcaster, which merged with Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia last year, reported record third quarter growth in customers in Germany and Austria.

Sky UK posted the highest third quarter rise in users and the lowest churn - customers leaving - in 11 years.

Across the group, Sky added 242,000 net new customers in the third quarter. That was almost 70% up on the same period a year earlier.

But the "stand out" performance came from its UK market which saw a 41% increase in net new customers in the third quarter to 127,000.

The rise takes Sky's total number of customers across Europe to 20.8 million.

Sky said it also grew paid-for subscription products by one million, taking total product sales to 3.8 million for the year to date.

Chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: "As these results demonstrate, our teams are working well together right across the new Sky.

"Five months in, our integration plans are progressing well and we are well positioned for the expanded growth opportunity ahead."

Sky said group revenues for the nine month period grew by 5% to £8.453bn. The UK and Ireland saw revenues rise by 6% to £5.824bn, in Germany they rose 9% to £1.037bn, while revenues in Italy were flat at £1.592bn.

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