BSkyB hikes dividend despite fall in profits

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Satellite broadcaster BSkyB saw its first-half profits slide 8 per cent on the back of higher investment in its content and service, but shareholders are in line for a hike to their dividend.

The group said adjusted operating costs fell to £595 million for the six months to 31 December, down from £647m a year earlier, on revenues 7.6 per cent higher at £3.75 billion.

Chief executive Jeremy Darroch said costs were driven higher by a £108 million “step up” in charges under its new deal to show English Premier League football games, while marketing costs jumped 13 per cent to £613m.

The marketing push saw the number of Sky customers taking a high-definition package rise above five million.

Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 12p a share on 22 April, up from 11p a year ago.