BSkyB Romps Ahead of Subscriber Forecasts

01 August 2006

LONDON: Despite increased costs, News Corporation-controlled UK satellite monopoly BSkyB reported a 1% increase in pre-tax profit for the year to June 30.

Its net rose to £798m ($1.49bn; €1,17bn) from £787m, despite higher interest charges following its £211m acquisition of the Easynet broadband network.

Sky's core pay-TV business added 389,000 subscribers during the year, and a slightly better-than-expected 77,000 in the fourth quarter, leaving the company "very confident" of hitting its target of 10m subscribers by 2010, says ceo James Murdoch.

Quoth Murdoch, whose paterfamilial shoehorning into Sky's ceo role in 2003 sparked accusations of nepotism: "I think Sky right now is probably the most exciting media company in the world."