Sky revenue up but UK advertising revenue dips

Sky sign at British Sky Broadcasting headquarters in west London Image copyright Getty Images

Broadcaster Sky has reported a rise in revenues, but UK advertising sales dipped and subscriber growth slowed.

Sky said like-for-like revenues - which strip out the impact of currency movements - rose 5% in the three months to 30 September.

Subscriber numbers rose by 106,000 over the period but that was lower than last year's rise of 134,000.

Advertising revenue in the UK and Ireland fell 3%, although Sky said that was better than the overall market.

Sky, which generates about a third of its business in Italy, Germany and Austria, said its group revenues had benefitted from the rise in the euro against the pound, as European sales in euros are counted back into sterling. As a result, group revenues rose 13% to £3.1bn.

Friday football

Football as ever proved an important earner for the company, which said it had its most watched sports event ever on Sky Sports Italy, which was Italy v Germany's UEFA Euro 2016 match.

In the UK and Ireland, Sky said it expected the new Premier League season to be its biggest yet. It will include Friday evening matches for the first time.

The company has paid an extra £600m for its Premier League rights, but said it was making very strong progress on efficiency, with operating costs for the quarter lower than a year ago.

Chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: "We finished the quarter strongly after a slower start against the backdrop of the Rio Olympics and Uefa Euro 2016.

"We are on track financially in a year of investment on screen."

The company said growth had been good "across all territories and categories".

But analysts at Liberum said the results were thin on detail, with no figures for churn - the rate at which customers are leaving - or average revenue per user.

"We have far less disclosure from this Sky Q1 release than in previous releases," Liberum said.

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