BSkyB see solid first half as it unveils broadband initiatives

1 Feb 2012

UK broadband provider BSkyB has outlined plans to introduce a fibre-based high speed internet product to is portfolio. In releasing its financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2011, BSkyB revealed a three-prong plan aimed at enhancing its current broadband offerings, with the first element of that being an extension of its existing local loop unbundled (LLU) footprint from the 82% of UK premises it currently covers to 88% by the end of 2013; this extension, it claims, will make its unbundled connections available to an extra 1.4 million homes. Secondly, the telco said it will launch its free Wi-Fi service to its ‘Broadband Unlimited’ customers from April 2012. Most notable perhaps though was the revelation that April 2012 will also see BSkyB introduce a fibre-based broadband product for those customers seeking higher speeds. Utilising BT’s fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) infrastructure the alternative operator says it will introduce a GBP20 (USD31.5) per month plan offering downlink speeds of up to 40Mbps, with no monthly data cap. Customers interested in the new service are able to pre-register their interest from today.

Meanwhile, for the second six months of 2011 BSkyB reported a solid financial performance, revealing that, despite falling advertising sales it had generated turnover of GBP3.364 billion, up 5.6% year-on-year compared to the GBP3.186 billion reported in the same period of 2010. Net profit for the six-month period climbed to GBP441 million, up from GBP407 million, while adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBTIDA) in the period was GBP772 million, up 14% y-o-y.

In operational terms, the operator revealed that, having added 166,000 new broadband subscribers in the last three months of the year, its total customer based had increased to 3.651 million. It also noted that at end-December 2011, having continued to migrate customers across to its unbundled network, 59% of its broadband subscribers are now classified as on-net. Fixed line telephony subscriptions meanwhile reached 3.407 million at the end of 2011, representing a 23.6% increase against end-2010, while line rental customers numbered 3.106 million, having increased by more than 40% over the year.

Commenting on the results, BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch noted: ‘It has been a strong first half with progress on all fronts…Our approach to growth is working well. We’re adding more value to the Sky subscription by investing where it matters most to customers, with more great entertainment and groundbreaking innovation like Sky Go. Alongside that, we’re improving efficiency behind the scenes so we can expand margins at the same time. Financially, we’ve delivered another strong result, with our highest ever first-half operating profit and 20% growth in earnings per share.’

United Kingdom, Sky