Sky Deutschland rises on subs growth

LOSS-MAKING pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland reported a big jump in subscriber growth in Germany, sending its shares to a one-year high.

The company, in which News Corporation owns a 49.9 per cent stake, has suffered from sluggish growth because of Germans’ reluctance to pay for premium TV content.

During the last three months of 2010, the company said net customer additions rose to 131,000, compared with 39,000 in the year-earlier period, pushing up the total number of subscribers to 2.653m.

It made no change to its forecast for a core loss in 2011.

Chief executive Brian Sullivan, who took the helm at the company in April 2010, said yesterday that a better understanding by customers of Sky Deutschland’s products had led to the increase.

The Munich-based company has said it needs around 3m customers to break even.

Its shares surged 27.1 per cent to close at €2.35, after reaching a one-year high earlier in trading.

The company also said News Corp fully backstopped an increase of gross proceeds from financing measures to €400m (£332m), up from a minimum of €340m announced last August.