Video services

Eurobites: Streaming Boosts Sky's Full Year

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: profits up 13.5% at Telefónica Deutschland; business services segment depresses KPN results; Danish merger decision delayed.

  • Sky , the satellite broadcaster turned triple-play provider, saw full-year revenues increase 5% year-on-year to £11.3 billion (US$17.6 billion) and pre-tax profits rise 6% to £1.2 billion ($1.8 billion), reports the Daily Telegraph. In the UK, its Now TV streaming platform, which can be used as an OTT pay-as-you-go service for those not wanting to commit to a full Sky contract, is growing in significance, with three times more weekly passes being sold to those wanting to dip into particular sports events than in the previous year. Organic customer growth was also impressive in the UK, totaling 506,000, the highest for 11 years. Revenues grew 9% to £1.37 billion ($2.14 billion) at its combined German and Austrian operation, though in Italy revenues slipped to £2.08 billion ($3.2 billion), largely as a result of the absence this year of wholesale revenue from Champions League soccer rights.

  • Second-quarter core profits increased by 13.5% year-on-year at Telefónica Deutschland GmbH to €453 million ($500.52 million) on revenues that were up 1.3% to €1.95 billion ($2.15 billion), reports Reuters. The carrier felt the benefit of its 2014 acquisition of mobile operator E-Plus from Dutch incumbent KPN. (See Eurobites: Telefónica Gets EC Green Light on E-Plus Deal.)

  • Meanwhile, at KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), second-quarter revenues were down 5.1% year-on-year to €1.74 billion ($1.92 billion), while EBITDA was down 45% to €568 million ($626.7 million), though the figures were dented by restructuring costs and other nasties. Business services remain a problem area for KPN, as CEO Eelco Blok admits in the results statement.

  • Telia Company and Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) will have to wait a bit longer than anticipated to hear from European Union antitrust regulators whether their plan to merge their respective Danish mobile units gets the green light, reports Reuters. Regulators will now decide on the fate of the deal on September 16, two weeks later than originally scheduled.

  • MobilTel (M-Tel) , the Bulgarian subsidiary of Telekom Austria Group , has agreed to buy blizoo, Bulgaria's second-largest fixed-line operator with around 373,000 subscribers and 2014 revenues amounting to €47 million ($51.8 million).

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) and Telekom Austria have become bidding rivals for a 58% stake in Telekom Srbija a.d. , which is in the process of being privatized. As Reuters reports, non-binding offers need to be submitted to the Serbian government by August 2.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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