Sky posts solid earnings growth as it rolls out new tech

Jan 26, 2018, 01:22
Sky posts solid earnings growth as it rolls out new tech

For the six months ended December 31, 2017, Sky posted a 5-percent increase in revenue to £6.7 billion ($9.5 billion). The rise of BT Sport has also hit Sky's traditional dominance in the world of sport.

The number of Sky retail customers in the United Kingdom and Ireland rose by 255,000 to 12.9 million, while Sky added 365,000 new customers to bring the total to 22.9 million.

Fox's offer for the 61 per cent of Sky it doesn't already own is 1,075 pence a share.

An initial report from the competition watchdog earlier in the week found the merger of 21st Century Fox and Sky in its current form would result in the Murdoch family having too much influence over public opinion and news providers in the UK.

That last point is a clue; you'll surely need to have fibre broadband in order to get Sky without a dish, and we know that will be a definite for 4K content.

Sky plans to make all its channels and content available online, meaning customers will no longer need a satellite dish on their property. In content, our focus on high-quality, differentiated local programming to complement what we acquire through our partners is working well. It will launch first in Italy before taking it to Austria and then across other "key markets".

The satellite-company, which operates in Italy, Germany and Austria as well as Britain and Ireland, said it would pay an interim dividend of 13.06 pence a share, on top of a special dividend of 10 pence, which UBS analysts said was a positive surprise.

"Despite households in all our territories facing continued pressure on discretionary spending, our customers and prospective customers value their on-screen entertainment highly", said Sky, which counts live Premier League football, blockbuster movies and 24-hour rolling news among its offering.

These new markets could see Sky bump heads with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

He said there would be more than 50 Sky "originals" during the next year, with highlights in coming months including the drama Patrick Melrose, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Raine; Save Me, starring Suranne Jones and Lennie James; and Catherine the Great, starring Dame Helen Mirren. Instead he said that the regulatory process is being "predominantly led" by 21st Century Fox.

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