Sky has announced plans to create hundreds of technology jobs as it reported a dip in full-year profits prompted by a spike in the cost of broadcasting live Premier League football.
The home and mobile entertainment and communications company, which owns Sky News, announced a 6% fall in operating profit to £1.47bn for the year to 30 June.
Sky plc said that revenue during the year had risen by 10% on a constant currency basis to £12.9bn as it continued to expand its range of products across the handful of countries in which it operates.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell by 3% to £2.14bn.
The company, which offers pay-television, broadband, and home and mobile telecoms services, added nearly 700,000 new customers and close to 2.6 million products during the financial year.
Sky’s chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, described the performance as “strong” despite “market headwinds”.
He added that the £97m fall in operating profit was “excellent” in the context of an additional £629m of Premier League rights costs.
Looking ahead, Mr Darroch said the media group would be increasing its investment in original programming by 25% during the year.
Sky, which broadcasts series such as Riviera and The Affair as well as its extensive sports offering, plans to export a customer loyalty programme used in Italy to its other markets, including the UK.
The company said it hoped that this would help to reduce customer churn, which it acknowledged was “at a level higher than we would like”.
“Despite the broader consumer environment remaining uncertain, we are confident of delivering on the plans we’ve laid out as we continue to give our customers the best content, great products and industry-leading service,” said Mr Darroch.
He also announced the creation of 300 new technology jobs in Leeds, London and Milan to focus on enhancing its ability to “deploy in and out-of-home streaming platforms”.
Sky’s announcement of its annual results comes a week after it expressed disappointment that Karen Bradley, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, was deferring a decision on whether to refer 21st Century Fox’s takeover bid to competition regulators.
Ms Bradley had already indicated that she was minded to refer the proposed transaction to the Competition and Markets Authority.