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BSkyB earns more dosh out of fewer new punters

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BSkyB's number of customers signing up to its products fell from 96,000 new subscribers in the company's Q1 last year to 77,000 in the first quarter ended 30 September 2011 – despite that, both revenue and pre-tax profit climbed.

The telco added more cash to its coffers courtesy of its existing customer base, which meant that the firm's average revenue per user (ARPU) figure grew from £514 in its first quarter 2010 results to £535.

However, compared with BSkyB's Q4 report in July, ARPU actually fell £4 during the most recent period.

Unsurprisingly, BSkyB preferred to concentrate on the year-on-year figures.

"The largest driver of higher ARPU was the greater average number of products taken by our customers with growth in each of the TV and home communication related elements," said the company.

It recorded a 29 per cent jump in subscribers singing up to BSkyB's TV, broadband and telephone services compared with the same period a year earlier.

The company said 2.9 million customers out of the 10.4 million punters on its books had opted to bundle all three services together.

BSkyB said it flogged 150,000 internet broadband subs during the quarter.

Group revenue hit £1.66bn compared with £1.53bn a year earlier, while adjusted pre-tax profit reached £274m for the period.

BSkyB boss Jeremy Darroch once again urged caution about the state of the British economy, however.

"We continue to deliver strong financial results and good growth in customers and products. In tough market conditions, our move to more broadly based growth and multiple products is serving us well," he said.

"Looking ahead, the environment is likely to remain challenging as a result of the pressures facing consumers in the UK and Ireland. Our job is to give customers the quality and value they're looking for, with a better choice of programmes, more innovation and peace of mind with a price freeze for 12 months."

BSkyB's bottom line got a £39m injection from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, after it failed in its bid to buy the remaining 61 per cent share of the telco it doesn't already own. ®

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