Revenue up, profit down for BSkyB

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British Sky Broadcasting swung into the red Thursday, posting full-year net losses of £127 million ($251.5 million) — compared with a profit of £499 million the previous year — despite revenue jumping 9% to £4.95 billion ($9.8 billion).

Shares in the U.K. satcaster dropped 4.4% to £4.27 ($8.46) on news of the losses, which were attributed to the renewal of the Premier League soccer contract and ongoing write-downs in the value of its 17.9% share in commercial broadcaster ITV. BSkyB paid £1.36 ($2.69) per share for the ITV stock, which is now trading at 42 pence (83 cents) per share.

BSkyB reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of £970 million ($1.9 billion), down marginally from last year's £1 billion. The satcaster added 92,000 subscribers in the three months ending June 30, its highest fourth-quarter jump in four years. But CEO Jeremy Darroch said that the "difficult consumer environment" remained a factor, though he predicted "good headroom for profitable growth" in the year ahead.

"There is no doubt that it is tougher out there," he said. "With a sharp economic slowdown, no consumer business is immune. We have to see how that develops over the next few months. The outlook is for growth over the medium term." (partialdiff)
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