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Sky has reported a strong increase in revenues and an upturn in customer growth towards the end of 2016.

In the second half of the year, revenues went up by 12 per cent to £6.4 billion, while it added 500,000 customers across all its markets.

This upturn was partly driven by a particularly successful six months in the UK market, as there were notable developments such as the introduction of the Sky Q box as standard and the launch of Britain's most comprehensive ultra HD service.

More than 60 Premier League matches were broadcast in this way throughout this period, while more than 300 hours of on demand UHD content is now available.

Sky's strong performance in the UK was also driven by a 40 per cent increase in downloads of the Sky Kids app, while more than four million households tuned in to watch Sky Sports Mix.

Furthermore, Sky Sports enjoyed 29 of the 30 biggest Premier League audiences thus far, with viewing figures going up throughout the season.

The new Sky Cinema service also proved particularly popular between July and December, with seven million movies being downloaded in a single week over the Christmas period.

Sky hopes to sustain this strong performance in 2017 through moves such as the launch of its new mobile service.

Sales of Sky Mobile to existing customers began in mid-December, with its full market launch coming earlier this month.

The company has said it is "just getting going in this brand new market" and is "very confident in the opportunity ahead".

Sky also revealed that it plans to launch a full loyalty programme later in the year that it believes will "deliver tangible results" for customers and reward them based on how long they have been with the provider.

Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive at the firm, commented: "We have delivered a strong first half performance across the group, continue to make significant progress against our strategy and remain on track for the full year.

"Across the half we have continued to drive customer and product growth in all our markets, adding over 500,000 new customers - faster growth than last year - and selling two million products. 

"That means, in the past three years and since the Skys have come together, we’ve now added 2.5 million customers and total products are up almost 25 per cent."

Mr Darroch said this has led to "sector-leading" revenue growth, despite factors such as pressure on discretionary consumer spending across Europe.

He went on to note that Sky's financial performance has been particularly good, especially as it has had to absorb significantly higher programming costs due to the increase in Premier League costs.

"We enter 2017 focussed on giving more quality, choice and value to our customers," Mr Darroch continued.

"In the UK we plan to launch our Sky TV service without the need for a satellite dish for the first time, at the same time as pushing ahead in the £15 billion mobile market."

Mr Darroch added that while it expects the backdrop in its territories to remain uncertain, Sky is still on track as it goes into the second half of the financial year and focused on delivering its "clear strategy for growth".

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