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Friday, 2 November, 2001, 12:20 GMT
BSkyB subscriber numbers disappoint
Sky football coverage
BSkyB is known by many for its sports coverage
Satellite broadcaster BSkyB has reported a 23% rise in operating profits for its first quarter, but said that subscriber numbers are lower than expected.

The company's losses have narrowed after operating profits for the three months ended 30 September came in at 45m ($66m).

The group made a loss before tax of 89m - including results from its share of joint ventures - compared with a loss of 123.6m last time.

The pay-TV company also said that its average revenues per user had increased by 8%.

The increase in operating profits pushed the company's shares 4.6% higher on Friday morning.

Below forecasts

Nevertheless, BSkyB reported that its total subscriber figure was below analyst expectations, following its changeover to digital satellite transmission.

The decision to turn off the original analogue signal has been seen as a gamble by the company on the future of digital services.

BSkyB reported that it had 5.498 million digital subscribers compared with forecasts of 5.5 million.

This also includes an increase of 190,000 in digital customers and a loss of 145,000 analogue customers.

As a result, the company's cancellation rate rose to 10.4% from 10% at the end of the last quarter.

BSkyB also posted a 24% rise in revenue to 643m.

See also:

25 Oct 01 | Business
ITV Digital defies sceptics
30 Sep 01 | Business
Digital TV firms mull tie-up
25 Jul 01 | Business
Worst over for BSkyB?
23 Jul 01 | Business
EU investigates BSkyB
30 Jul 00 | Business
BSkyB eyes ITV news deal
09 Feb 00 | Business
BSkyB boosts internet sites
26 Jul 00 | Business
BSkyB: Digital take-up 'phenomenal'
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