UK pay-TV, broadband and fixed line provider BSkyB has announced that a surge in demand for high speed internet services helped drive turnover to GBP3.19 billion (USD5.08 billion) in the six months to end-December 2010, an increase of 15% year-on-year. The operator revealed that in the six-month period it had also seen operating profit climb to GBP520 million, up 26% against the GBP414 million reported in the same period in 2009, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 19% y-o-y to GBP677 million.
Such positive results have largely been attributed to the continued growth in BSkyB’s broadband customer base, with the operator reporting its ‘highest broadband growth rate for more than two years’, according to the company’s CEO Jeremy Darroch. ‘In the second quarter, we saw strong demand across the board, passing our target of ten million customers and adding more than one million additional subscription products for the first time … Overall, almost one in four customers now choose to take all three of TV, broadband and telephony from us, which is contributing to further strong ARPU growth and good levels of customer loyalty,’ the executive also noted. As at end-December 2010 BSkyB had a total broadband subscriber base of just over three million, while some 2.78 million had signed up to one of the operator’s fixed line voice options.
Further, on the back of rumours that came to light earlier this week, BSkyB also used the release of its financial results to confirm the acquisition of public Wi-Fi provider The Cloud. The deal, which will see BSkyB acquire some 5,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the UK, will ensure ‘that customers can access our online service at a network of convenient locations’, according to the triple-play provider, while it also claims that it will complement its existing broadband services. The deal remains subject to regulatory approval from authorities in Jersey however, where The Cloud recently signed a deal with Jersey Telecom. While the value of the deal has not been officially disclosed, the Financial Times claims the purchase cost BSkyB less than GBP50 million.