British Sky Broadcasting Group plc Boosted By Strong Third Quarter

The share price of Sky (LSE: BSY) is currently up 30.5p, a rise of close to 3.5% on the day so far, following release of its unaudited results for the nine months to 31 March 2104.

The company said it had a “strong quarter of growth“, adding 764,000 new paid-for subscription products, bringing the total to 2.4m in the year to date.  And it gained  74,000 net new TV customers, which is more than double the growth seen in Q3 last year.

SkySky said it’s continued to make “further strong progress” in its strategy of driving take up of connected TV services. A further 600,000 Sky+HD boxes were connected in the third quarter, taking the total connected base to 5m — almost half of all homes with Sky. The company also reported that consumption of On Demand content “continued to grow rapidly“, with weekly downloads in Q3 triple what they were a year ago

Adjusted revenue rose 6.6% to £5,666m, although adjusted  earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) were down 2.4%, at £1,223m, and operating profit slid 8.5%, to £910m. However, the company said that both EBITDA and operating profit were in line with expectations, given its investment in connected services and the uplift in Premier League amortisation.

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said:

We have had a strong third quarter and continued to grow at an accelerated rate as customers respond to the quality and breadth of our offering. Nine months into our plans for the year, we have added almost a third more new paid-for subscription products than in the same period last year.

“Our investment in connected TV services is delivering results. … We are making good progress in developing new revenue streams. …  We’ve also made further strides to increase the range and quality of content across our platforms. 

“We’re now more than three quarters of the way through our plan for the year and are on track to deliver returns in line with our expectations.

At 910.5p, Sky’s share price is up 7.2% on this time last year, beating the FTSE 100’s 5.5% rise over the same period. And the story is even better over five years, with Sky’s share price gaining 85.5% versus the index’s 60.4%.

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Jon doesn't own shares in any company mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended British Sky Broadcasting.