Thursday 24 October 2019 1:04 pm

Comcast profit beats estimates after boost from broadband and Sky deal

Media and communications company Comcast has beaten Wall Street estimates for third-quarter profit, which were boosted by its acquisition of Sky last year.

Comcast reported an 11 per cent rise in net profit for the third quarter, ahead of analysts’ expectations, driven by a rise in broadband customer numbers.

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Chairman and chief executive Brian Roberts said the company had “continued our long track record of highly-profitable growth, while also investing in our businesses to further strengthen our leading competitive position” during the quarter.

Comcast company gained 379,000 high-speed internet subscribers during the period, but lost 238,000 of its video customers – more than double the 106,000 subscribers who left during the same period last year.

Total third-quarter revenue jumped over 21 per cent to $26.83bn, beating analysts’ average estimate of $26.77bn, according to Refinitiv data. Comcast reported adjusted earnings per share of 79 cents.

Sky, which Comcast acquired following a bidding war with 21st Century Fox last year, generated revenue of $4.55bn. Sky has brought in 2.1 per cent more customers year-on-year basis, Comcast said.

Sales at its NBCUniversal unit were down 3.5 per cent compared to the year before, dropping to $8.3bn.

Customers are increasingly abandoning traditional pay TV subscriptions in favour of streaming services, and Comcast its set to launch its own on-demand offering early next year.

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The service, from NBCUniversal, will be called Peacock. Users will be able to stream original content and NBC favorites including The Office and Parks and Recreation.

“With our leading scale in high-value customer relationships and premium content, we are strategically positioned to thrive in our evolving global industry,” said Roberts.