23 Aug 2013

Sky profit up despite viewing hours fall

8:20 pm on 23 August 2013

Sky Network Television lifted annual net profit 11% as it gained subscribers and sold more expensive options.

This was despite customer churn rising slightly, viewing hours per subscriber falling and lower pay-per-view purchases.

Net profit for the year ended June rose to $132.2 million from $122.8 million the previous year.

Sky shares fell 8 cents to $5.33, despite the result, which Forsyth Barr head Rob Mercer said was due to sluggish subscriber growth.

"I guess the key negative that came out of the result was the continued slow increase in net subscriber for the basic pay TV business," Mr Mercer said.

"So all the growth that Sky is delivering at the moment is happening through the MySky subscribers base, which has been continuing to be a key source of growth, and the increase in revenue from other services."

Customer numbers increased by 8967 and average revenue per customer rose 2.6% to $86.89, compared with $84.69 the previous year.

However, subscriber viewing hours fell 4% to 296 hours per month, which Sky said reflected the impact of the Rugby World Cup in the previous year.

Only 13.6% of subscribers bought a pay-per-view programme each month in the latest year, down from 15.6% the previous year.