Foxtel has posted an 8.5 per cent growth in earnings to $598 million for the year to June 30.
Revenue was up 4 per cent to $2.2 billion and profit before tax was $258 million – up from around $200 million this time last year. The result doesn’t include the company’s $1.9 billion takeover of Austar.
Subscriber numbers grew by 1.3 per cent to 1.68 million, which gives the Pay TV provider 2.3m nationally, with former Austar subscribers included. Subscriber growth this year was described as “subdued”, but churn was strong at 13.2 per cent.
Penetration of Foxtel’s iQ HD service leapt from 31 per cent to 42 per cent and over 80 per cent of subscribers are now taking the sport-tier package, which offers viewers dedicated sports channels. The company also said that more than 40 per cent of Foxtel’s subscribers take the full Platinum service with 43 per cent of subscribers taking an additional outlet.
Foxtel also flagged its solid progress with the integration of Austar, with synergies delivering annualised savings of over A$40 million.
It comes a week after the competition watchdog signalled the green light for News Corp to own 50 per cent of Foxtel and 100 per cent of FOX Sports.
The full impact of the Olympics on the business will not be known for another two months.
‘‘We will be evaluating that in the next two months. We have seen a tick up in subscriber numbers. I won’t say it is huge but it is certainly noticeable. We have also seen an increase in the number of people who are taking our sports pack, which is encouraging,’’ said a Foxtel spokesman.