EL SEGUNDO, California: US satellite provider DirecTV, currently in the throes of an ownership swap from News Corporation to Liberty Media [WARC News: 26-Dec-06], has boosted its fourth quarter profits by targeting higher-income customers.

The company's strengthening of credit policies to cut high-risk subscribers and thus reduce churn helped profit nearly triple to $356 million (€274m; £180.8m) from $121 a year ago; it also boosted revenue by 16% to $4.2 billion.

DirecTV had gross subscriber additions in the US of 1.02m, up 5.8% from a year earlier period, and net subscriber additions rose 38% to 275,000, the first increase in subscriber growth in a year after the tightened credit policies. The total number of subscribers at the end of 2006 was just under 16m.

Comments president /ceo Chase Carey: "Fourth-quarter results point to the continuing progress and operating strength at DirecTV US."

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