BSkyB profits from package offerings

Date:2011-10-20hanyue  Text Size:

THIRD-QUARTER profits at British Sky Broadcasting, in which Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has a large minority stake, rose as increasing sales of telephone and broadband packages offset a slowdown in new television subscriptions.

The company said operating profits in the third quarter rose by 24 percent to 225 million pounds (US$355 million) from 182 million pounds a year ago. Revenue increased 8.5 percent to 1.66 billion pounds as customers rose by 4 percent to 10.4 million.

BSkyB shares rose 4.4 percent to 705 pence on the London Stock Exchange.

"Against a grim economic backdrop, these are very good figures," said Steve Malcolm, analyst at Evolution Securities, who rates the shares as a buy.

BSkyB said 28 percent of its customers have signed up to its triple package of TV, broadband and telephone services, up from 23 percent a year ago.

Earlier this year, News Corp had to shelve its bid to take full control of BSkyB in the wake of a phone hacking scandal and alleged bribery of police at its Sunday tabloid News of the World.

As a result, BSkyB shares slumped from around 850 pence to a little over 600 pence.

BSkyB also garnered 77 million pounds in sales of set-top boxes to News Corp-owned sister broadcaster Sky Italia, up from 48 million pounds the year before.

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