BSkyB has reported increased profits, with significant growth in revenue from interactive services, particularly betting. Posting third quarter results for the nine months to the end of March 2004, total revenues for the period are up 17% to £1,766 million, with profits after tax up from £12 million to £130 million.

With 7.2 million subscribers, subscriber growth is slower than expected but the company says it is still on track to achieve its target of 8 million in 2005. Average revenue per subscriber is £369 a year and churn is below 10%.

Turnover on interactive services is up 62% to £147 million from £91 million in the previous year, making this the greatest area of growth. Although still a comparatively small element of total revenue, revenue from interactive services is now equivalent to that from advertising revenue on Sky channels. The majority of interactive revenue is from betting, representing a turnover of £91 million, up from £43 million for the same period in the previous year.

Sales of the Sky+ dual channel personal video recorder product are strong, following the Autumn relaunch of the service. With a total of 322,000 Sky+ customers, 93% of users are reported to be ‘very satisfied’ with the product, with 86% saying that they would recommend Sky+ to family and friends. The company revealed that Sky+ was opening new possibilities, providing a platform for future product and service developments.

James Murdoch, Chief Executive of British Sky Broadcasting Group plc, said: “These results show a business that continues to improve. We enter our second half with good momentum, robust financial health and a full programme of work.”