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BSkyB shows its worth with profit rise

(SHARECAST) – BSkyB has demonstrated why newspaper group NewsCorp is so keen to take over the satellite broadcaster, with a strong rise in profits in the six months to 31 December.

Pre-tax profits climbed to £237m from £185m over the same period the previous year on revenues that rose to £1.66bn from £1.44bn.

The company, which provides telephone and broadband as well as TV services, said it added 140,000 customers during the period, taking the total number above 10 million. Nearly a quarter of customers take all three services.

BSkyB is now pinning its hopes on the success of Sky Atlantic, which will broadcast hot US shows such as Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos when it launches next week.

“Looking ahead, we are cautious on the economic outlook for 2011, while remaining very confident in the long-term opportunity for the business,” said chief executive Jeremy Darroch.

“We intend to maintain our consistent strategy of pursuing both growth and returns, by balancing sensible investment with a strong emphasis on operational efficiency.”

NewsCorp, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch and already owns nearly 40 percent of BSkyB, made an offer proposal for the satellite broadcaster last year but faces a long regulatory process due to concerns about media competition.

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