BSkyB reveals savings made in news to boost Sky One

BSkyb has posted losses of £112 million in the last six months of 2007 as a result of its investment in ITV.

The company took a £343 million knock after ITV shares fell, forcing BSkyb to write down its 17. 9 per cent stake in the broadcaster. Its adjusted operating profit for the period (excluding the ITV investment) was £307 million.

Earlier this month the Government ordered BSkyb cut its ownership of ITV to 7.5 per cent.

Revenues were up in the last six months of 2007. Total revenue increased by 11 per year-on year to £2.46 billion.

Programming costs were up at the company despite savings in news. Costs across the board were up 6 per cent on the same period in the last year, in part due to 12 per cent growth in the cost of sports rights. The company said this was partially offset by savings in news and third party channel costs.

Sky’s news and entertainment costs were £2 million higher than the same period in 2006, up to £101 million. Savings made at Sky News helped offset the continued investment in Sky One.

The company also reported net TV subscriber growth of 167,000 in the second quarter of the year.

In a statement the company said it was ‘well positioned to grow’in the second half of the financial year and anticipated an operating profit in line with its expectations.

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