Murdoch-controlled BSkyB is on course to sign up its seven-millionth subscriber by the year-end after posting healthy Q1 results.

The British satellite giant – in which News Corporation has a 35.4% stake– swung to a pre-tax profit of £37.3 million ($60.0m; €52.1m) in the first three months of 2003, up from a £26.4m loss in the same quarter last year.

Sales jumped from £707.6m to £819.2 million, fuelled by an increase in the number of subscribers (up 150,000 over the quarter) and a 7% rise in the average spend per customer to £364.

BSkyB now has 6.71m subscribers, in line to hit its target of 7m by the end of 2003. Such is the company’s dominance of Britain’s digital TV market that it has more customers than all its competitors put together – with a few million to spare.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff