Sky high profits as Darroch unveils new streaming deals

Good news for BSkyB boss Jeremy Darroch. Interim profits at his broadcasting outfit are up 27% on last year. And there's a load of money-spinning new products still to come.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013
Sky subscribers are a loyal bunch. Nothing testifies to this better than BSkyB’s latest results, showing that out of the 772,000 products sold over the six months to December 2011, over 85% were purchased by existing customers. That’s one hell of an up-selling strategy, Jeremy.

Pre-tax profits for the period hit £597m, compared with the last six months of 2010. Revenue was up 6% percent to £3.4bn. Sky now makes £544 a year per customer, an increase of £8 on the 2010 average.

And that’s not all. Sky is coming up with yet more ingenious ways of entertaining and delighting its customers (some at a small fee, of course). It is storming into the web-streaming space with pay-per-view films and free BBC iPlayer access.

Its cosy relationship with the Beeb has already given Sky a boost – the two brands split Formula 1 coverage last year to save cash: the deal paid off handsomely in terms of savings and viewer figures. And Sky’s new pay-per-view film offering is even more interesting. Watch out newly-landed Netflix and Lovefilm…

Not that Darroch believes that it will be an easy sell, given the current financial state of the UK. ‘We expect the environment to remain tough in calendar 2012. No consumer business can be immune to these conditions and we will manage any short-term headwinds as they emerge,’ he says.

Once the results were posted this morning, BSkyB’s shares hopped up 3.8%. A resolute thumbs up from the market. And Darroch is in our PM’s good books too. BSkyB is to create 1,300 new jobs across the UK and Ireland over the next two years. Just the kind of announcement David Cameron needs to take the attention off his Hester blunder…

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