Sky Deutschland Reports First Quarterly Net Profit in Years

Sky Deutschland CEO Brian Sullivan

The German pay TV company, controlled by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, added 96,000 subscribers during the latest quarter

German pay TV company Sky Deutschland, controlled by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, swung to a fiscal first-quarter profit, its first net profit in years. 

Reuters said it was the company's first quarterly net profit since the third quarter of 2007. The company has in recent years reported quarterly profit on an operating basis, but not on a net basis.

U.K. pay TV giant BSkyB, in which Fox owns a 39 percent stake, has struck a deal to acquire Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia from Fox. The deals are expected to formally close later in the month.

Sky Deutschland added 96,000 subscribers during the latest quarter ended in September to finish with more than 3.9 million. Its net profit amounted to $15.4 million (€12.3 million).

Read more Warner Bros. Extends Multiyear Deal With Germany's Sky Deutschland

"This quarter marks a number of important milestones at Sky," said Sky Deutschland CEO Brian Sullivan. "We have once again delivered strong customer and EBITDA growth, as well as a positive net income, as more and more customers are enjoying our outstanding offering. High-quality exclusive content, continuous innovation and a great customer experience are the pillars of our sustained success. We’ve also just unveiled the next wave of exciting new services, Sky Online and Sky On Demand, which bring a whole new level of choice, flexibility and control to our existing and future customers. There has never been a better time to be a Sky customer.”

On an earnings conference call, he emphasized that the company wouldn't continue to report quarterly net profits all the time. "The reality is that we will go in and out of net income for the next quarters before posting annual net profit," he said.

Later on Monday, an extended acceptance period of BSkyB’s takeover offer will expire, with the final result of the number of shares tendered set to be announced soon thereafter. Sky Deutschland reiterated that it expects the transaction to be closed around mid-November.

This summer, BSkyB agreed to acquire Fox's 57 percent stake in Sky Deutschland for $4.7 billion and offered minority shareholders a chance to also sell their stock.

Twitter: @georgszalai