British Sky Broadcasting Group first-quarter revenue beat estimates as the U.K.’s largest pay-TV provider signed more broadband customers in the face of greater competition from BT Group Plc. Sales rose 7.5 percent to 1.84 billion pounds ($2.94 billion) and 8% fall in operating profit in the first three months of its financial year from £310m in the first quarter of the 2012-13 financial year to £285m this time, the Isleworth, England-based company said in a statement today.
BSkyB, the owner of Sky News, said it had seen strong growth across its product base, including a net rise in broadband customers of 110,000, helping it to cross the five million customer threshold for the first time.
That came despite intensifying competition in the broadband market from rivals such as BT Group.
In total, the company saw 800,000 new paid-for subscription products during the quarter, a 50% increase on the prior year and an indication that BSkyB still possesses significant growth potential across many of its products.
The BSkyB chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, took home more than £7m in pay and share awards last year, including an almost maximum cash bonus of £1.8m. Darroch’s total remuneration including salary, bonus, pension and benefits for the year to the end of June remained almost flat year-on-year at £2.93m. That included a £1.82m bonus, almost the maximum 200% of his base salary, while his salary remained flat year-on-year at £935,000.He also received £175,686 in benefit payments and banked almost £4.1m from 580,000 shares awarded as part of BSkyB’s long-term incentive plan.
BSKYB could be an unexpected beneficiary of the pick-up in the housing market, as customers switch television packages when moving home. The broadcaster, which is due to post a first-quarter trading update on Thursday, is forecast to benefit from the revival in the housing market in the south-east of England. The launch of the next phase of the UK government’s Help to Buy scheme is also predicted to increase the number of people moving house.