Subscribers to Sky TV's My Sky have underpinned a strong
first-half result. More than 480,000 people are now using the
My Sky decoder.
Total operating revenue for the six months trading to
December was up 2.9% from $443.3 million to $456.3 million,
earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (Ebitda) rose
by 7.4% to $190.4 million, while after-tax profit was up
21.9%, from $67.3 million to $82 million.
''This improved financial position is primarily due to the
continued success of My Sky, as well as a decrease in
programming costs,'' including the ''abnormally high'' costs
of the summer Olympics, the company said yesterday.
Its shares were up 5.2% after the announcement, at $6.05.
My Sky subscribers now represent 56.7% of Sky's subscriber
base, up from 50.1% a year ago, rising from 423,973 in
December 2012 to 486,252 last December.
''Subscribers continue to find great value in the My Sky
product which is demonstrated by continued migration from the
standard digital decoder to the My Sky decoder,'' the company
Craigs Investment Partners broker Peter McIntyre said the
additional 30,000 MySky subscribers in the first half was
''positive'', as the rates continued to track upwards, but
Pay TV subscription numbers were ''flat'', and were likely to
end the year that way.
While the interim dividend rose from 12c last year to 14c, Mr
McIntyre said it was still only a 65% payout, which implied
Sky TV was likely to pay a special dividend within 12 months,
based on strong free cash flows.