As the Competition and Markets Authority investigation into the £11.7 billion takeover gets underway revenues increased by 5 per cent to £3.3 billion and EBITDA by 11 per cent to £582 million. EBITDA grew 15 per cent when investment in mobile and Sky Spain is stripped out.
Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, said: “Against the backdrop of pressure on consumer spending and lower spend on UK television advertising, we were particularly pleased with our own EBITDA growth of 15% in our Established Business. We continue to see good demand for our products and services with 51% more new customers joining Sky than a year ago; we surpassed the milestone of 60 million subscription products; and pay-as-you-go sports and entertainment buys grew by 12% to 9.6 million.”
Customer growth in all markets was helped by a strong campaign for the seventh season of Game of Thrones. Germany & Austria added 90,000 new customers, up 84%, while the UK & Ireland put on 70,000. In Italy, the customer base remained flat. On the positive side Italian churn is relatively low and there are 2 million members of the local loyalty scheme.
Paolo Pescatore, VP, Multiplay and Media, CCS Insight described a good set of results for the company: “The quarter underlines the importance of cross selling services such as mobile in the UK which performed well. Increasing loyalty among subscribers is a clear strategic priority with the rollout of Sky VIP; strong start with more than a million users having signed up. Subscriber growth is becoming harder to achieve in the UK so we expect Sky to place more focus on its European operations and enter new markets.”
Sky Q now has 1.6 million customers, an increase of 23 per cent since the fourth quarter. The next generation product will launch in Italy before Christmas and in Germany and Austria in the first few months of 2018.
UK & Ireland revenues increased by 4% and EBITDA was up 11% to £452 million, helped by strong growth in pay-as-you-go revenues.