Sky boosted by Game of Thrones in strong Q1

With 160,000 new customer additions in the first quarter, Sky's revenues were up 5 percent to £3.3 billion ($4.3 billion).

Sky has hailed its strong start to the year, with the company adding 70,000 new customers in the United Kingdom and Ireland between April and June. "We continue to see good demand for our products and services with 51 percent more new customers joining Sky than a year ago; we surpassed the milestone of 60 million subscription products; and pay-as-you-go sports and entertainment buys grew by 12 percent to 9.6 million".

"Against the backdrop of pressure on consumer spending and lower spend on United Kingdom television advertising, we were particularly pleased with our own EBITDA growth of 15% in our established business". EBITDA for the UK & Ireland lifted 11 percent to GBP 582 billion, while Established Business EBITDA went up 15 percent to GBP 606 million excluding investment in two new lines of business, namely Sky Mobile and Sky Espana.

"We've had a strong start to our new financial year with good revenue growth and excellent profit growth as investments we've made come through", said Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive.

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It has also pledged to increase investment in Sky Originals by 25% this year, meaning Sky will show four "major dramas" each quarter - including its first German production, Babylon Berlin, which is due to debut this week.

Mr Darroch added that Sky customers have "lots to look forward to" as it continues to enhance its products and services in all territories. Increasing loyalty among subscribers is a clear strategic priority with the rollout of Sky VIP; strong start with more than a million users having signed up.

Sky Q also proved to be very popular in the United Kingdom, with the number of customers taking up the service rising by 23 per cent to 1.6 million. In the United Kingdom, customers are responding well to our entry into the mobile market whilst this quarter we have successfully entered two new territories with the launch of direct to consumer streaming services in Spain and Switzerland, further demonstrating our credentials as the leading provider of streaming services in Europe.

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