Revenue Up, Losses Down at 21st Century Fox's Sky Deutschland

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Sky Deutschland CEO Brian Sullivan

The German pay-TV group earns $586 million in the first quarter of 2014, a 16 percent jump.

Sky Deutschland, the German pay-TV group controlled by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, continues to deliver slow if steady progress toward breaking even.

First quarter figures released Wednesday showed the company improving on all sides, even if the bottom line goal of net profits remains, for now, out of reach. Sky booked sales of $586 million (€421 million) in the first three months of this year, a 16 percent year-on-year jump as subscribers ticked up.

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The company added another 64,000 German pay-TV subscribers to take its total to 3.73 million. EBITDA losses for the quarter were $12 million (€8.6 million), compared to $18 million (€14 million) a year earlier.

Another key figure, average revenue earned per “subscriber unit,” or ARPU, was up slightly at $48.09 (€34.58) per month.

For the full year, Sky expects to boost subscriber figures by between 400,000 and 500,000 and achieve a positive EDBITA of between $97 million and $125 million (€70 million - €90 million). Sky Deutschland CEO Brian Sullivan noted that the loyalty of Sky customers “has never been higher” as subscriber cancelation rates for the quarter fell to 8.8 percent, compared to 11.3 percent in Q1 2013. On a rolling 12-month basis, cancelation rates were 10.6 percent from 12 percent year-on-year.