Sky says United Kingdom customer defections steady in Q3

Sky profits fall amid rising Premier League costs and weaker advertising market

Outside of the United Kingdom, revenue and profits in the company's newer markets of Germany and Italy delivered a strong performance for the period, with Sky signaling a positive outlook for the final quarter of its fiscal year and further ahead.

Sky's performance was boosted by Germany and Austria, where revenues grew by 10% to £1.382 billion, leading the unit to post its first ever operating profit at the nine-month stage.

Sky hopes the United Kingdom government will approve its takeover by Twenty-First Century Fox next month. It reported an 11% fall in operating profit to a little over £1bn. At constant exchange rates, that growth was 5pc. It highlighted "good growth" in all of its markets. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, revenues were £6.41 billion up 4% on both measures while Italy grew 25%/7% to £1.849 billion and German and Austrian business was up 28%/10% to £1.382 billion. A weaker United Kingdom advertising...

The company did not share how many customers has signed up to its new mobile offering but said it was "pleased with the initial response" to its entry into the market. "We have continued to improve the customer experience with further enhancements to our Sky Q and Sky+ platforms as well as the launch of our digital customer service via the My Sky app".

Richard Plepler, chairman and CEO of HBO, said the deal "allows even deeper collaboration between our two great companies, which have a long tradition in creating superior content for our customers".

Sky's results were accompanied by its announcement of a new production partnership with HBO and the unveiling of plans to show Test cricket in the UHD format for the first time.

The firm has also announced a virtual reality programme featuring Sir David Attenborough and the Natural History Museum.

"It's been another strong quarter for Sky, despite this being our seasonally quietest period", said CEO Jeremy Darroch.

Overall, the company closed the quarter with 4.9 million customers, up 363,000 on the prior year and with growth of 73,000 new customers in the quarter.

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