Phone, broadband services boost earnings
LONDON — U.K. pay box BSkyB has reported a 14% rise in operating profit for its last financial year to £1.2 billion ($1.8 billion) — a record for the satcaster.While the number of new TV subscribers continues to slow, the firm’s perf was boosted by a growing telephony and broadband customer base. BSkyB is now the second biggest provider of telephone services in the U.K. after British Telecom. TV subscribers hit 10.28 million by June 30, adding a mere 20,000 in the last quarter. Revenue rose 3% to $10.5 billion. The paybox revealed it had made a $10 million investment in streaming service Roku. Its new VOD service, Now TV, will be available to devices connected to Roku. Now TV, which will compete with Netflix and LoveFilm, will benefit from a hefty BSkyB marketing blitz. Overall, the company said it would initially invest some $47 million in Now TV. CEO Jeremy Darroch said, “We have delivered record financial results after another year of strong operational growth. Our consistent approach of investing where it matters most to customers and improving efficiency behind the scenes is working extremely well. In what remains a tough economic environment, customers are choosing Sky over other providers. We’ve continued to add new households and existing customers are remaining loyal and taking more products from us.” It confirmed that from Thursday its Sky Go mobile app for Sky customers would offer kids’ fare on eight channels for the first time.