Sky's financial results were published on Thursday and these showed strong customer growth for the company. 62,000 customers were added in the quarter ending 31st March 2010 bringing Sky's total customer base to 9.770 million. Sky+HD has been a big seller for the company with 428,000 net additions, exceeding 25% penetration. 19% of Sky customers now take a triple-play bundle of TV broadband and a telephone service driving average revenue per user (ARPU) to a new high of £503, up 11% year on year.
Looking ahead, broadband price and speed changes were announced in April which will bring 20meg broadband to all their 'on-net' customers (i.e. those on a Sky unbundled exchange). Sky 3D will launch to residential customers later this year after the company successfully launched the first European 3D channel to commercial customers, with over 1,000 venues currently on board. Sky will also launch a broadband-enabled video-on-demand service later this year which will take advantage of functionality in the Sky+HD box.
"The business has continued to perform very well in what remains a tough consumer environment. Customers are responding to our focus on quality, innovation and value, and success in our multi-product strategy has allowed us to deliver double-digit growth in each of revenue, free cash flow and earnings per share.
We have seen a huge response to our decision to cut the upfront cost of high definition, with net additions of 428,000 - up 76% on the prior year. The number of customers taking all three of TV, broadband and telephony is up 39% year on year and, as customers reward us with more of their business, ARPU has surpassed £500 for the first time.
In support of this growth, we have created around 1,500 jobs over the last two years and, with the announced opening of a new contact centre facility in Stockport this quarter, we will be adding a further 550 jobs in the Greater Manchester area. At the same time, we continue to broaden our contribution to the communities in which we live and work. Our secondary schools programme 'Sky Sports Living for Sport' reached a key milestone this month signing up its 1,000th school.
Our leading HD box is allowing us to bring more innovation to customers faster and at lower cost. The launch of Sky 3D, Europe's first 3D TV channel, has got off to a good start, with more than 1,000 venues signed up so far. We're on track to bring 3D to residential customers later this year along with our new video-on-demand service, Sky Anytime+. All of this will be available through our existing HD box.
Today's results show that our financial performance is accelerating as we move through our investment in broadband and HD. Our focus on delivering an outstanding service for customers positions us well for sustainable growth in shareholder returns."Jeremy Darroch, CEO, BSkyB