Sky has reported a rise in annual revenues, profits and customer numbers, and sought to underline its growth prospects as a £26bn bidding war between two American suitors approaches its conclusion.
The home and mobile entertainment and communications company, which owns Sky News, said that statutory operating profit in the year to June rose by 7% to £1.034bn.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were up 9% to more than £2.3bn.
Sky plc said that revenue had risen for the 29th consecutive year, with like-for-like revenue up 5% to £13.6bn.
The results, which are likely to be Sky’s last annual figures as a standalone company, also showed a 39% growth in customer numbers and 81% growth across its product portfolio, which includes home and mobile telecoms, and fast broadband.
Sky said its UK television churn figure, which accounts for the number of customers whose subscriptions lapse, had fallen to its lowest level in a decade.
The company, which also operates in European markets such as Germany, Ireland and Italy, said its original content unit had performed strongly, with Patrick Melrose, a drama series starring the actor Benedict Cumberbatch, sold to 60 territories before it had even aired.
Sky also sought to focus on its record of technological innovation, with a new hands-free, voice-activated service for its Sky Q platform to be developed over the next 12 months.
Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s chief executive, described it as “an exceptional year”, adding: “Our strong performance reflects the execution of our strategy over an extended period of time, driving sustained growth in revenue, profits and shareholder returns.
“We do this by providing our customers more of the best content, world class innovation in products and services, combined with industry leading front-line service.
“Together with an increasingly agile and efficient organisation, we are able to deliver for shareholders whilst ensuring the customer experience is better than anywhere else.”