With the successful acquisition of Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, satellite giant Sky has turned in solid financials for its fiscal year.
Fulfilling previously disclosed anticipated results, it closed the financial year with revenues up 5% to £11.3 billion, and operating profit up 18% to £1.4 billion. It today serves 21 million customers across five countries – Italy, Germany, Austria, Ireland, and the UK – and is Europe's leading investor in content.
“As well as bringing greater scale, the transaction was also about building a great organisation and positioning the business for the future,” the company said in releasing its earnings data. “The three Sky businesses are highly complementary. They share a powerful brand and have a common ethos of embracing change to provide customers with more choice, better content and a superior TV experience.
"Sky is already at the forefront of delivering services over broadcast, on demand and mobile TV platforms. However, by joining the three businesses together, we are able to share our strengths and expertise across the group. This will enable us to serve customers better and to build a bigger and stronger business over the longer term, to the benefit of all shareholders.”
The satcaster saw the addition of almost one million new customers over the year. This was 45% more than the prior year. At the same time, it added 4.6 million new paid-for products.
“2015 also saw us achieve significantly increased customer loyalty across the group,” the company noted. “We reduced churn to below 10% in all our markets as customers responded positively to the investments we have made in the viewing experience, in areas such as the connected box platform and our own original drama.”
Sky especially saw a standout performance in the UK and Ireland, where it is segmenting the market with the complementary Sky and NOW TV brands. It saw the highest organic customer growth in 11 years, adding 506,000 to take it past the 12 million sub milestone. At the same time, it grew paid-for products by 3.3 million thanks to accelerated growth across TV and broadband. Churn came in at 9.8% on a 12-month rolling basis, an 11-year low. The company credited the growing penetration and usage of connected TV services: It closed the year with more than seven million TV customers connected, an increase of more than one million over the year.
Sky in Germany and Austria also achieved growth, where it added 467,000 net new customers over the 12 months, the highest-ever annual customer growth, to take the base past four million. And in Italy, the customer base held stable for the first time in three years, ending the 12-month period broadly flat year-on-year with 4.7 million customers.