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Strong profit for Sky TV

Last updated 15:00 24/02/2014

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Sky Network Television has posted a strong result with profits increasing 22.5 per cent, even though the company's satellite dishes are on fewer New Zealand homes.

In a release to the NZX today, Sky reported net post-tax profit of $83.5 million for the six months to December 31.

The number of homes with Sky dropped by 6000 compared to the previous six months, but a 30,000 unit jump in sales of MY SKY recorders to 486,000 subscribers pushed the profit up.

MY SKY subscribers now represent 56.7 per cent of Sky's subscriber base compared to 50.1 per cent in the previous comparative period.

The pay-TV provider increased its interim dividend by 2 cents a share to 14c, payable on March 17.

Revenue of $456m for the period was up 2.9 per cent, and advertising revenuewas up 6.3 per cent to $35.5m.

Chief executive John Fellet put the result down to increased sales of MY SKY, and costs for the last period being inflated by commitments to the Summer Olympics.

Expenses excluding depreciation were stable from the previous six month period, while installation expenses were down 13.5 per cent to $18.7m.

However programming costs which comprise the costs of buying programme rights and programme operating costs fell $13.5 million or 8.9 per cent.

Analysts compiled an improved guidance for the company's full-year result, with estimated net profit now $155m-$160m, up from October guidance of between $145-$155m, the company said.

Fellet said a highlight of the six-month period was securing rights to the FIFA 2014 Football World Cup, with all matches to be screened live on Sky Sports, with just 11 games on free-to-air Prime.

He said the network's Ellerslie offices had been expanded for the ability to host 'pop-up' channels to coincide with special-event and school-holiday programming.

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- Fairfax Media

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