BSkyB Returns to Black On Subscriptions Surge

13 August 2003

Rupert Murdoch’s UK satellite giant BSkyB is back in profit after revenues and subscriptions rose.

The pay-TV firm – in which News Corporation holds a 35.4% controlling stake – posted a net profit of £190.3 million ($304.9m; €269.9m) for its fiscal year. This compares with a loss of £1.38 billion the year before, reflecting a writedown of nearly £1bn related to its stake in defunct German media empire Kirch Gruppe.

Earnings excluding tax, goodwill, amortisation and exceptional items swung from a £22.1m loss to a £260m profit. Revenues climbed 15% to £3.19bn as Sky added 744,000 subscribers, taking its direct-to-home customer base to 6.85m.

“We are highly confident of reaching our seven million subscriber target by the end of 2003,” declared ceo Tony Ball. “With only half of households signed up to digital television, there is still plenty of growth potential in the UK.”

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff