Sky Deutschland has reported a net growth of 183,000 subscribers in 2010 with churn rates at their lowest levels in over five years. The premium TV operator also said HD penetration more than doubled to 593,000 homes.
The total number of net subscribers grew by 131,000 in Q4 (compared with 39,000 during Q4 2009) to a total of 2,653,000 at December 31, 2010. The full-year net subscriber growth of 183,000 was an increase on 2009 (FY 2009: 70,000 net additions).
The company reported gross additions of 599,000 subscribers during 2010 (FY 2009: 597,000 gross additions), representing underlying growth when considering one-off impacts in 2009. The 12-month rolling churn rate reduced to 16.2% and the quarterly annualized churn rate for Q4 2010 decreased to 11.8%.
Sky said 133,000 HD subscribers were added in Q4 and 325,000 HD subscribers in the full year 2010 to a total of 593,000 paying HD subscribers. When including those customers with HD capable set-top-boxes that have access to the HD Welt bouquet at no additonal charge, this took the HD viewing customer base to over 900,000.
In addition to the cooperation agreements with Kabel Baden-Württemberg, Tele Columbus and NetCologne which were announced in 2010, Sky Deutschland recently entered into an agreement with Deutsche Telekom to distribute the full Sky service including its market leading HD channels via local cable networks. This cooperation is another step in Sky’s strategy to ensure all customers have access to the full range of Sky’s great channels and innovative products. But so far, there are no distribution contracts in place with the nation’s two largest cable operators, Kabel Deutschland KDG and Liberty Global’s Unitymedia.
Sky Deutschland increased its total revenues in Q4 2010 to €263.7 million (Q4 2009: €230.2 million). ARPU reached €30.22 (Q4 2009: €27.45). Total costs amounted to €378.9 million (Q4 2009: €321.6 million). The increase in costs is mainly a result of selling expenses associated with higher gross subscriber additions, the expansion of HD and a more conservative accounting treatment towards recovery of settled shareholder claims in Q3 2010 to the amount of €13.6 million.
EBITDA for the fourth quarter was negative €101.7 million (Q4 2009: negative €81.6 million). The result for the period after taxes in the fourth quarter amounted to negative €139.4 million (Q4 2009: negative €114.0 million).
For full year 2010, total revenues grew by 8.4% to €977.8 million (FY 2009: €902.1 million) due to growing subscription and advertising revenues. Subscription revenues rose strongly by 18.6% on a year-on-year basis to €881.5 million (FY 2009: €743.0 million). The full year EBITDA loss remained stable at €268.6 million (FY 2009: €262.7 million).
The result for the period after taxes was negative €407.6 million (FY 2009: negative €676.5 million). Cash flow from operating activities amounted to negative €324.4 million (FY 2009: negative €158.4 million) including costs associated with increased volumes of HD and HD Sky+ receivers. At the end of 2010, net debt amounted to €319.3 million (end of 2009: €162.4 million).