Comcast tops profit forecasts; cable TV subscriptions fall

29 July, 2018, 03:59 | Author: Juana Mckenzie
  • OFCOM Considers The Multi-billion Pound Takeover Of SKY By 21st Century Fox

Comcast - which owns NBC Universal and is the largest cable operator in the U.S. - has also dropped separate plans to bid for some of Fox's entertainment assets to "focus" on its recommended offer for Sky.

Comcast saw its TV subscriber losses accelerate to 140,000 in the second quarter, up from 34,000 in the year-earlier period.

US cable company Comcast (CMCSA.O) is leading the race to buy Sky after it offered 14.75 pounds a share this month, valuing the group at $34 billion. "These excellent second quarter results underscore all of this".

The results are a reminder of why Comcast is interested in buying the European pay-TV company Sky Plc and pursued 21st Century Fox Inc. before backing away in the face of Walt Disney's higher offer.

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Darroch said Sky's content in sport, drama and entertainment would be bolstered by new partnerships with Netflix, BT Sport, Mediaset Premium and Spotify. Only in response to an analyst's question did Roberts say that Fox represented "a unique opportunity" that was "mostly about worldwide expansion", not creating greater scale or developing new products.

"We've looked at a lot of things - thousands of transactions over 50 years, and we've done several hundred", he said.

As for Comcast's still pending $32.5 billion offer for Sky, which trumped Fox's last bid, Roberts merely reiterated that company officials are still enthralled with the British satellite TV and OTT video provider. "We think it's a great business".

Revenue was up 5 percent to 13.59 billion pounds, beating a forecast by UBS, as the company said it had attracted more than 500,000 customers across its main markets in Britain and Ireland, Germany and Austria and Italy.

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Earnings before interest and tax rose 11 per cent to £2.5bn, while earnings per share were up 10 per cent to 67.3p. That surpassed the 175,000 new internet customers it added a year earlier and topped analysts' expectations.

Reports have said Comcast wants Darroch, in the top job since 2007, to stay if it buys Sky.

Comcast added 204,000 Xfinity Mobile customers in the quarter ended June 30. As for commercial services, the company added 36,000 business customers, lifting its total to 2.2 million.

Revenue at NBCUniversal edged down 0.1% to $8.3 billion.

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“Were benefiting more from that competition than were losing, ” Roberts said. "All those are great trends for us".

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