Sky adds 177,000 new customers in third quarter

Sky reported a 12% rise in operating profit to 1.1 billion in the nine months to March, driven by strong growth in Europe.
Sky reported a 12% rise in operating profit to 1.1 billion in the nine months to March, driven by strong growth in Europe.

​Entertainment group Sky attracted 177,000 new customers in its third quarter, including 46,000 broadband additions in Britain and Ireland, helping revenue rise 5 per​ ​cent for the first nine months​.

The company said it was pleased with the response to the launch of its new television product Sky Q in Britain in the quarter.

​The ​group reported a 12 per​ ​cent rise in operating profit to ​£​1.14​bn on revenue of ​£​8.72​bn for the nine months to March 31.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky's chief executive, said: "Our strategy to broaden our business, expanding into new markets and customer segments, has delivered further excellent financial results."

However in Italy, Sky saw revenue fall by 2​ per cent​, which analysts linked to increasing competition in the country.

Sky is also embroiled in several battles with rival BT, most notably in the sphere of football rights.

BT has outbid Sky for several Premier League packages and the lucrative Champions League.

Roddy Davidson at Shore Capital said: "We are mindful of the impact of an increasingly complex and competitive environment, featuring rapid growth in streaming services and BT's content offer, but believe Sky's content base and commitment to delivery across multiple platforms and revenue models places it in a strong position."

In addition, Sky has been calling for Ofcom to separate BT from its infrastructure arm Openreach, but in February, after a review, the regulator stopped short of demanding it be hived off.

Sky​, which employs over 1,000 people in Leeds,​ said​​ that "the ball is still in Ofcom's court" regarding Openreach.