Sky, the home entertainment and media company, reported a 10% rise in quarterly operating profit to £375m (€510m, $579m) for the three months to the end of September. Sky said it was its strongest first quarter growth in four years, with revenue up by 6% to £2.8bn.
The company added some 134,000 new customers, and 937,000 new paid-for subscription products, with 133,000 new broadband subscribers in the UK. In terms of content, Sky trumpeted the release of The Last Panthers to launch across the group, as well as multi-year agreements with Disney and SANZAR rugby.
Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive, said: "We have made a strong start to the year with customers responding well to the quality and breadth of our content, products and services. As we continue to place customers right at the heart of our business, we are focused on offering the very best content at the same time as anticipating customers' evolving needs, delivering the programmes that they love across multiple platforms and devices.
"We added over 130,000 new customers in the quarter, up 7% on the previous year, which means that we've added almost a million new customers over the past twelve months, up 51% year on year. Our total product base now exceeds 54 million, and within this, broadband growth in the UK had a stand-out performance this quarter, up 77% year on year.
"Our investments in content are driving a great performance on screen, with highlights this quarter including record viewing of Sky Atlantic in the UK, of the Bundesliga in Germany and the X Factor in Italy."
Martin Lane of money.co.uk was not quite so sanguine about the results. He said in an emailed statement to IBTimes: "News that Sky profits are soaring by 10% at the same time they've announced price hikes is likely to leave many Sky customers fuming.
"On 1st December, millions will see their line rental, call charges and voicemail fees jump up and will wonder why they're being forced to pay more while the media giant has pocketed a colossal £375m profit in the last quarter alone.
"Sky Talk customers can still switch to avoid the hike without penalty as new rules give them 30 days to do so. However they need to act quickly as time is running out."