group revenue up 6 percent to GBP 2.79 billion in its first fiscal quarter to the end of September, compared with GBP 2.65 billion a year earlier. The company saw 7 percent revenue growth to GBP 2 billion in the UK and Ireland, and an 11 percent improvement in Germany and Austria, but a 4 percent decline in Italy. Sky benefited from strong customer demand across the group, with 134,000 new customers additions taking the total to 21.14 million. Paid-for subscription products rose by 937,000 to bring the total to over 54 million. Group operating profit grew by 10 percent to GBP 375 million, driven by the revenue increase and control over the cost base, resulting in a 60 basis point improvement in the operating margin. Adjusting for GBP 154 million of depreciation and amortisation, group EBITDA was up 7 percent to GBP 529 million.
In the UK and Ireland, Sky posted GBP 2 million of sales, compared with GBP 1.87 million in the first quarter of 2014/2015. It raised its operating profit by 20 percent to GBP 358 million, versus GBP 340 million a year earlier. The company added 77,000 customers in the quarter, more than 50 percent more than in the year-earlier quarter and the highest first quarter customer growth in four years. This took its subscriber base to 12.08 million at the end of September. Total products rose to 38.76 million as it added 759,000 paid-for products, including 43,000 new TV additions and 133,000 new broadband additions. Wholesale customers grew to 4.05 million from 4.03 million. Churn and ARPU were unchanged at 9.8 percent and GBP 47 a month, respectively.
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