Page last updated at 09:02 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 10:02 UK

BSkyB upbeat despite profit fall

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BSkyB is appealing against a ruling on its ITV holding

UK satellite TV broadcaster BSkyB has seen a sharp fall in profits, but said that its business was performing well in a challenging environment.

Profit before tax totalled 60m in the 12 months to the end of June 2008, down from 724m a year earlier.

The drop reflected the additional cost of the new Premier League football contract and accounting charges related to a stake in rival broadcaster ITV.

BSkyB said that it added 400,000 new customers during the financial year.

At the same time, its revenue rose 9% to 4.95bn.

'Difficult environment'

"We have continued to grow strongly in a more difficult consumer environment," said Jeremy Darroch, BSkyB's chief executive.

He added that it had been a banner year for the firm's Sky Plus system, which allows customers to record programmes and pause live TV.

The accounting charge was determined by ITV's share price, which BSkyB said has had a "significant and prolonged decline".

In February, business secretary John Hutton ordered BSkyB to cut its ITV holding to 7.5%.

BSkyB is now appealing against that decision to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, and said that it was awaiting the outcome of the review.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation owns a 39% stake in BSkyB.

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