British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) today posted a seven per cent increase in full-year revenues to £7.2bn, with the satellite broadcaster saying that new services were "resonating strongly" with its customers.
It reported pre-tax profits of £1.26bn for the 12 months to 30 June, up 6% on the previous year. The company gained 547,000 new customers over the year to bring its total customer base to 11.2 million.
The group said it had benefited from an "explosion" in on-demand and mobile viewing as customers turn to their smartphones and other devices to watch television on the move, with many taking out more expensive packages as a result.
Chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: "The strength of our financial performance is a result of our successful transition to more broadly-based growth and sustained investment to create a better service and wider range of products for customers."
Along with proposing an 18 per cent increase in the full-year dividend to 30p a share, Darroch said BSkyB would seek approval at its upcoming annual meeting to launch a £500m share buyback programme.
The number of Sky households with fully-connected HD set-top boxes more than doubled over the past year, from 995,000 to 2.7 million. The number of Sky Go unique users rose from 2.74 million to 3.26 million.
The results come as BSkyB faces a challenge to its dominance of the UK's sports pay-TV market. BT won a three-year deal to show 8 Premier League games a season, beginning this year, and is now offering free Premier League football coverage to its broadband customers.
BSkyB has fought back, bringing on David Beckham to star in a new Sky Sports ad campaign. It will also broadcast matches on the first day of the Premier League's soccer season next month free to customers who don't subscribe to its sports channels already.
BT announced yesterday it had signed up more than half a million customers for its rival sports television service, which is due to launch next month.
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