Sky profits soar amid Comcast-Fox bidding war

Laverne Mann
July 29, 2018

The company shed 140,000 cable subscribers during the spring, an increase from the 93,000 it lost in the first quarter and its fifth straight quarterly decline.

"We have a unique and special company with a terrific team and great operating momentum", said Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, saying he felt the need to "reiterate something that perhaps has been lost" by the Street in recent months.

Sky on July 26 said revenue in the financial year to end-June was 13.6 billion pounds, 5 percent higher than a year earlier excluding currency fluctuations.

Comcast attributed the weak revenue figure to its blockbuster-bare Universal film slate and the boost in profits to high-margin internet businesses.

Last week, Comcast dropped its pursuit of Fox's entertainment assets, ceding a vast swath of Murdoch's empire to Disney.

Khalaf added that the outcome may result in Disney taking the Fox media assets while Comcast takes the majority stake in Sky, as while Sky's shareholders believe "a better offer will be forthcoming.[Disney's] appetite for acquisitions may be sated".

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Comcast's revenue rose 2.1% from the previous year to $21.7 billion, but fell short of analyst estimates of $21.86 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Shares in Sky are trading at record levels, and above Comcast's latest offer, as investors bet that Fox will return with a higher bid.

Even more so, Comcast executives took pride in the company's stellar broadband, wireless and commercial services performance while downplaying their mounting losses on the video side of the business.

Although, he added that Sky should be wary of getting into bed with Comcast as the corporation didn't "have the best reputation when it comes to customer service". Revenue growth was fueled by a 3.4 percent increase in cable, led by broadband and business services, while NBCUniversal posted flat sales of United States dollars 8.313 billion. "Overall, our successful results in the first half of 2018 underscore the strength we see across Comcast NBCUniversal".

“Were benefiting more from that competition than were losing, ” Roberts said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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