Financial Roundup

07 November 2005

UK (fiscal Q1)

  • BSkyB
       The UK satellite broadcaster, part of the News Corporation media stable, reported a 15% rise in profits during the quarter. Net income increased to £140 million ($247m; €206m), from £122m a year earlier. Sales rose 8% percent to £1.02 billion.
       But recent price hikes have also pushed up the number of subscribers cancelling their contracts, BSkyB acknowledged. The churn rate rose to 11.7% from 10.5% in the previous quarter.

    USA (calendar Q3)
  • Comcast
       Shares in the largest US cable operator fell sharply on Thursday after it disappointed investors with a decline in video subscriber growth and higher than expected predictions for capital expenditure.
       The shares moved 5% per cent lower despite 10% growth in revenue to $5.6bn (€4.67bn; £3.16bn) over the same period last year, boosted by strong growth in the number of digital cable and internet telephony customers as the switch to digital services accelerated.
       But net income rose less than 1% to $222 million, the same as in the same period last year.
       Full-year 2005 capital expenditure was expected to total $3.5bn, compared with a previous target of $3.2bn-$3.3bn.

    USA (calendar Q3)
  • DirecTV
       The satellite-television operator reported a profit of $94.6 million (€79m; £53.4m) compared with a loss of $1.01 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue totaled $3.23bn, up from $2.86bn.
       Operating profit before depreciation and amortization was $365m compared with an operating loss of $1.35bn a year earlier. DirecTV Latin America recorded a gain of $30m in the latest quarter related to the sale of its subscriber list in Mexico.
       The company also added a gross 1.1 million subscribers during the quarter. But its average monthly churn rate of 1.89% in the quarter "remained unacceptably high", it said in a statement. After accounting for churn, it added 263,000 net subscribers in Q3.

    Global (calendar Q3)
  • Unilever
       The Anglo-Dutch home and personal care conglomerate, whose brand range includes Dove soaps and Lipton tea, said pre-tax profits fell by 4% to €1.45 billion ($1.73bn; £979m) due to a 2% decline in European sales in the quarter.
       Despite a strong performance in the growing markets of central and eastern Europe, the 75-year-old company's profits were dragged down by flat Western European markets.
       Earnings per share rose by 25%, helped by the €448m sale of its cosmetics arm Unilever Cosmetics International. But operating profit dropped 4% to €1.59bn. Turnover for the third quarter rose by 4% to €10.2bn.

    Global (calendar Q3)
  • Toyota
       Toyota posted a 3.2% fall in quarterly operating profit to ¥404.3 billion ($3.45bn; €2.88bn; £1.94bn) as it spent more money on new factories, but it expects brisk global car sales to provide a smoother ride for the rest of the year.
       Net profit rose by 2.1% to ¥303.7bn, compared with a consensus estimate of around ¥300bn.

    Data sourced from BBC Online; Financial Times Online; Wall Street Journal Online;; additional content by WARC staff