British satellite broadcaster Sky has increased its subscriber base to over nine million and says it is still on track to reach its target of ten million. Revenue for the last quarter was up 5% to £1,249 million, while operating profit was up by 21% to £182 million compared to a year ago.
Sky signed up 334,000 new subscribers, but a slightly higher churn rate of 10.9% reflected annual price rises. The number of net additions was 87,000 subscribers, the highest in this quarter for five years, and above the expectations of most analysts.
The number of homes with a Sky+ digital video recorder rose by 421,000 in the last quarter to over four million, over 46% of all Sky satellite homes. One in five Sky homes now also takes their broadband service.
Chief executive Jeremy Darroch described it as “a good set of results in a challenging environment,” saying that “in tougher times, we’re helping more people to save money on broadband and telephony as well”. He said that “looking ahead the consumer environment will remain challenging and we are well positioned to manage the business accordingly.”
“Our target is to reach ten million by the end of the decade. We are now past nine million and on schedule,” he told analysts.
Recent reports had suggested that many subscribers would reduce or cut their subscriptions in response to the economic climate.
The company said that while no consumer business is immune to a downturn, its move to a broader customer offer, including leading broadband and fixed-line telephony services had enabled it to build a healthy and relatively resilient subscription base.