BSkyB Half Yearly Profits Up 8 %

The British Sky Broadcasting Group has reported 8 percent rise in its first half operating profit, boosted by strong programming line up including exclusive sports, the offer of broadband and telephony as well as on-demand services.

BSkyB reported an operating profit of £647m (€754m, $1bn) for the first half year against a forecast of £632m while the revenue for the same period recorded a 5 percent increase to £3.5bn.

The company also announced 20 percent increase in interim dividend to 11 pence a share.

BSkyB added 88,000 net new customers in the three months through December as against the analysts' expectations 58,000.Total net new customers reached 10.74 million, up 271,000 year-on-year.

"We have delivered another good performance in the first half with strong progress across the board," said Chief executive Jeremy Darroch.

"Although we expect the consumer environment in 2013 to remain challenging, we have a strong set of plans for the year ahead.

"The business is in good shape to continue to deliver for customers and shareholders."

In a new move, BSkyB will allow customers to access all its six sports channels on a pay-as-you go basis for £9.99 a day. The new internet TV service, Now TV will allow sports fans to access prime content such as Premier League football without a Sky TV subscription.

"Under the new offer, customers will get unlimited access for a 24-hour period to the full range of sports over all six Sky Sports channels for £9.99," said BSkyB. The subscribers of Now TV which was launched in July along with the Sky Movies content had reached 25,000 in the past three months, revealed the company.