Sky Plc 9-month Operating Profit Declines; Group Revenues Up 11%

  • Sky Plc 9-month Operating Profit Declines; Group Revenues Up 11%

Sky Plc 9-month Operating Profit Declines; Group Revenues Up 11%

Jeremy Darroch, chief executive officer (CEO) of Sky, spelled out the challenges confronting the broadcaster in its home market, pointing to economic headwinds in the form of weakened retail sales, consumer confidence and house price inflation and noting that "the environment we're dealing with therefore at the margin puts a little more pressure on the business".

Sky shares were up 0.1 per cent at 983 pence in early London trading following today's updates that were published after the European Commission earlier this month cleared Fox's multi-billion dollar buy-out of Sky.

The Group's total costs grew by 8% to £8.628 billion, ahead of revenue growth as Sky absorbed significantly higher programming costs resulting from the £494 million year to date step-up in the new three-year Premier League contract.

A fall in operating profits for the first nine months of Sky's financial year overshadowed a rise in revenues, the company said in an earnings statement.

The company, which is in the midst of being acquired by USA media company 21st Century Fox (FOXA), recorded adjusted operating profit of 1.01 billion pounds ($1.29 billion) for the nine months to March 31, down from GBP1.14 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Group revenues stood at £9,641 million. Customers in the Italian market numbered 4.8 million at the end of March, up 68,000 year-on-year.

Media group Sky has announced a multi-year $250m (£195m) co-production deal with U.S. television network HBO.

Sky also said it will be showing Test cricket in Ultra HD for the first time this summer.

Darroch said that, looking forward, the company was entering the final quarter of its fiscal year in good shape.

Sky also announced a $250m (£195m) partnership with American production company HBO.

Sky is the subject of an £11.7bn takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox.

"We have delivered strong revenue growth of 11pc and are on track financially with operating profit for the nine months exceeding £1bn", he added. It noted that reports on the deal from United Kingdom telecoms regulator Ofcom and the UK's Competition & Markets Authority have been requested by the United Kingdom government, with a deadline of May 16.