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Sky pushes past 12 million customer mark

Sky has released its financial results for 2014/15 (opens in new tab), which reveal that the twelve month period was a successful one for the broadcaster.

Total revenue increased by five per cent to £11.28 billion, with pre-tax profit growing by six per cent to reach £1.19 billion.

Read more: Sky Sports to boost Premier League coverage with new highlights package

Perhaps even more promising than the financial results, Sky achieved a record high number of subscribers over the year, with figures breaking through the 12 million mark for the first time after adding 506,000 new users. Downloads and on-demand streaming also grew, exceeding 2.4 billion over the 12 month period.

The news will be greeted as a huge success for Sky, which has faced increased competition in recent times. As well as the threat posed by online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant, Sky has seen its sports offering, considered one of the staples of its business, challenged. BT Sport launched in 2013 and has increased its football portfolio, now owning the exclusive rights to UEFA Champions League matches.

Paolo Pescatore, analyst at CCS Insight, believes that the strong results are reward for Sky’s ability to adapt to new challenges.

"This is another strong set of results for Sky, despite increasing competition from rivals in all markets. This is even more significant as key telcos have moved aggressively into its core business,” he said. "Fundamentally, it underlines the importance of owning a strong portfolio of content across all screens and seeing good uptake across all platforms. Furthermore, it validates Sky's strategy of broadening its business beyond satellite DTH."

Read more: Sky planning to launch new 4K ultra HD set-top box

Part of the success is also being attributed to Sky’s emphasis on producing more original content, echoing other broadcasters that have the made the move from content provider to content producer. The company’s group chief executive Jeremy Darroch cited the likes of Fortitude and upcoming crime drama The Last Panthers as evidence of its growing ambition.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.