Broadband and phone deals lift BSkyB earnings

BSKYB posted record profits yesterday, as the broadcaster revealed plans to spend £500m on buying back shares.

The pay-TV company added just 300,000 extra customers in the past year, but boosted income by signing up existing subscribers to its broadband and telephone deals. Sky also announced it was launching a £30m campaign to promote Now TV, its on-demand online streaming venture, and said it had invested $10m (£6.4m) in Roku, an internet connected set-top box.

Revenues for the 12 months to July were £6.8bn, three per cent up on the year before, and operating profit jumped 14 per cent to £1.2bn. The firm boosted the final year dividend to 16.2p, pushing full-year yields up nine per cent to 25.4p per share.

It also announced it would spend £500m on a share buyback, following on from last year’s £750m repurchasing scheme after News Corp’s bid to take control of the company collapsed. Shares in BSkyB, 39 per cent owned by News Corp, rose three per cent in trading yesterday as the results beat forecasts.

The company said revenue per user had increased to £548, as a decline in new customers led Sky to focus on encouraging pay-TV subscribers to sign up to internet and telephone deals. Sky now has 10.6m users.

Sky’s chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: “In what remains a tough economic environment, customers are choosing Sky over other providers. We’ve continued to add new households and existing customers are remaining loyal and taking more products from us.”