BSkyB CFO: Strong results show 'no distraction'
With talk of a possible takeover deal and fierce competition in sports broadcasting, BSkyB came out swinging on Thursday with a set of market-beating figures for its first half.
BSkyB, the British satellite broadcaster, broadband and telephone services company posted first-half operating profit at £595 million ($985 million) versus a consensus for £586 million in a Reuters poll. Revenues also beat estimates with a figure of £3.75 billion against a prediction of 3.76 billion.
The company also raised its dividend from 11 pence to 12 pence, a rise of 9 percent and said it remains on track to meet expectations for the full year. Shares were higher by 3.1 percent in morning trade with analysts at Jefferies describing the figures as "robust growth in a polarized U.K. market."
"We've had a very good quarter," Andrew Griffith, the chief financial officer at BSkyB told CNBC Thursday. "Despite it being a really competitive marketplace customers are voting with their feet."
(Read more: Soccer player transfer spending hits $3.7 billion)
BSkyB's newest and biggest rival, BT, will also update its investors this week. BT recently became the latest rival to BSkyB in the valuable market of broadcasting soccer matches from the English Premier League. The company also lost out to BT in recent months for the U.K. rights to broadcast popular Champions League matches.
Griffith said that there was more to BSkyB than just sport rights and said drama and movie rentals were also growth parts of the business. He added that the company will look to "manage" its rights costs when it came to sports.
"Of course sports are important...but it's only one part of our business," he said. "What I'm worried is whether customers choose Sky."
(Read more: Demand for BT Sports TV helps lift results)
BT has spent nearly £2 billion on sports rights. Some are suggesting BSkyB join forces with Vodafone or allow Fox to take the mover. Others suggest a price war with BT to bring the young pretender crashing down. Reports this week hint that Rupert Murdoch might be hoping to take full control of the broadcaster, but Griffith rejected any suggestion that this was affecting operations.
"We're not distracted, these results show we're not distracted. We're very focused on our business," he said.
First-half operating profit for the same period last year came in at £647 million with revenues at £3.53 billion.
—By CNBC.com's Matt Clinch. Follow him on Twitter @mattclinch81