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New HD customers boost profits at BSkyB

Satellite broadcaster BSkyB today said nearly half-a-million customers had signed up for high-definition TV in the past three months as it reaped the benefits of a pre-Christmas marketing push.

The group's 482,000 net customer additions in the quarter to December 31 takes households on Sky+HD past the two million mark after adding 1.3 million in the past year.

Chief executive Jeremy Darroch said HD provided the “standout performance” as the group lifted underlying profits 4% to £401m in the first half of the year.

“It has been another good quarter in what remains a tough environment,” Mr Darroch added.

BSkyB has benefited as more households opt for home entertainment in the recession, with its total customer base now reaching 9.7 million.

Nearly a fifth of its customers are now taking broadband and telephone services as well as television channels.

This pushed revenues per user to £492 from £444 in the same quarter a year earlier, as well as increasing loyalty.

Its rate of customer churn — measuring customers leaving Sky — was 9.6%, slightly down on a year earlier. While the company said the economic outlook remained “uncertain” for 2010, it began the year in a “good position”.

It is also pushing into new technology with the launch of Europe's first-ever 3D television channel in April.

Belfast Telegraph