Profits soar at Comcast helped by NBC strength

Kate McCann
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BROADCAST network Comcast has posted healthy first-quarter results, helped by advertising revenue income from the NBC network.

America’s largest cable operator revealed net income in the quarter of $1.87bn, up from $1.44bn a year ago. Revenue grew 14 per cent to $17.4bn.

The results beat analyst expectations, and shares were trading up as markets closed in New York.

The company added 24,000 new video subscribers to its cable service, surprising analysts who expected the firm to lose 26,000 subscribers. This is the second quarter in which Comcast has added subscribers, a rare achievement in the industry.

NBC revenue grew 29 per cent to $6.88bn, boosted by $1.1bn achieved through Olympic broadcasting rights.

But the group missed targets for its internet business, adding 383,000 new subscribers, fewer than a year ago.

Comcast, which has come under fire from Netflix this week over poor internet speeds, has been defending itself against claims that a proposed merger with Time Warner Cable would make it too large. The firm said yesterday the deal should close by the end of 2014.