Sky added 177,000 new retail customers in the first quarter of 2016, taking its total customer base to 21.7 million across Europe. 70,000 of the new customers were in the United Kingdom and Ireland, while 73,000 were in Germany and Austria, with the rest in Italy. Sky is aligning its organisation to become the leading entertainment business in Europe.
Group revenue grew by 5% to £8.72 billion for nine months and while costs also increased, operating profit rose to £1.14 billion. Average monthly revenue per customer has remained flat over the last two years.
The United Kingdom and Ireland still account for the 70% of Sky revenue and almost all its operating profit.
With 12.35 million customers in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the total number of paid-for products passed the 40 million mark. That includes customers taking television, Sky+ HD, Multiscreen, Sky Go Extra, broadband, line rental or telephony services.
The number of wholesale customers in the United Kingdom and Ireland declined by 52,000 to 4.15 million.
Sky has been steadily gaining subscribers in Germany and Austria. It added 73,000 customers in the first quarter of 2016, taking its total to 4.57 million, up by 342,000 over 12 months.
Sky gained 34,000 customers in Italy, to return to the same number it had at the end of 2014, which is only 5,000 more than it had at the end of 2012.
“We want to offer customers the very best TV experience, whenever and however they want to watch,” said group chief executive Jeremy Darroch. “With the launch of Sky Q in February, we now have three outstanding products to meet all our customers’ needs. We are pleased with the early response to Sky Q, as we focus on establishing this premium product in its first market.”
Sky has set its sights on building Europe’s leading entertainment business. It says the integration of its three businesses across Europe is on track and already delivering tangible benefits. It has signed its first pan-European movie rights agreement, with Sony, following similar deals with HBO and Showtime.
The company now offers its ‘box sets’ of video-on-demand titles to 11 million broadband connected homes in all its markets. Sky is aligning its channel branding across its territories, starting with Sky Atlantic and Sky Arts, with Sky News and Sky Sports to follow. The Sky Kids app, launch in the United Kingdom and Ireland will be rolled out in Germany, Austria and Italy.