Reuters.com/ Strong British and German demand drives maiden Sky results

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SHAFAQNA – Strong demand for pay TV in Britain and a record jump in customer numbers in Germany helped Sky Plc (SKYB.L) to post a 16 percent rise in first-half adjusted operating profit in its maiden results as a European pay-TV group on Wednesday.

Sky, which was formed from the combination of Britain’s BSkyB, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia to serve 20 million customers in Europe, said it had also seen a significant decline in the number of people leaving their platforms.

Overall the group posted first half adjusted operating profit up 16 percent to 675 million pounds, well ahead of forecasts of 644 million pounds in a consensus provided by the company.

“Alongside our continued strength in the UK and Ireland, the acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland gives us an expanded opportunity for growth,” Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said.

“Both businesses had a strong quarter.”

Having seen off a string of challengers to dominate its home market, BSkyB in June embarked on a plan to enter Germany, Austria and Italy by buying Rupert Murdoch’s assets in those markets – countries where pay-TV is not yet as popular or profitable.

The first set of results as a combined company indicated the group had got its timing right.

While adding 204,000 new customers in Britain and Ireland, the highest growth in nine years, it saw record growth in Germany and the best growth in Italy in 12 quarters, helped by fewer customers leaving the platform.

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