BSkyB cites surge in weekly profits

Operating profits at British Sky Broadcasting are currently running at more than T2 million ($ 3 million) a week, the satellite TV company said Wednesday.

In the year ended June 30, BSkyB made an operating profit of T61.5 million ($ 92 million), compared with a loss of T47 million ($ 71 million) the previous year.

However, the company, which is 50% owned by News Corp., has yet to make an overall profit, since it has a heavy burden of interest payments to its shareholders, which were not included in Wednesday’s figures.

Analysts estimate that these payments totaled more than T100 million ($ 150 million) last year.

Nonetheless, BSkyB’s operating profit was T20 million ($ 30 million), better than analysts were predicting only six months ago, largely because the company has kept a tight control over its costs.

Gross sales increased 63% to T380 million ($ 570 million), while costs rose only 14% to T318 million ($ 477 million). Around 75% of revenues came from subscriptions to the company’s two movie channels and its sports channel, with advertising revenues making up most of the balance.

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