HD boosts BSkyB profits

BSkyB has announced it made an operating profit of £401m in the six months to December - up 3 per cent compared to 12 months earlier.

The company added 172,000 new subscribers in the second quarter, growing its customer base to 9.7m – but short of its 10m target.

The group posted first-half revenues of £2.9bn – up 10 per cent.

Almost 500,000 households signed up to receive Sky+HD – which provides 37 high definition channels - taking the total number to over two million.

Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said: "It has been another good quarter in what remains a tough environment, with more customers joining Sky and strong demand across our entire product range."

Richard Hunter, Head of UK Equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers said: "The numbers have been well received, as evidenced by the spike in the share price in early trade.

"The 94000 subscribers added in the first quarter - itself an impressive performance – was totally eclipsed in the second quarter as a further 172,000 customers were attracted."