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BSkyB announces profits surge

LONDON, Jan 27, 2011 – BSkyB, the pay-TV giant being courted by Rupert Murdoch\’s News Corp., announced Thursday that its half-year net profit soared 59 percent to 407 million pounds (473 million euros, $648 million).

BSkyB, which screens live English Premier League football and the Sky News channel, said the figure for the six months to December 31 compared with profit after tax of 256 million pounds for the first half of 2009/10.

"The business has delivered a half year of outstanding performance, with record product sales and strong double-digit growth in revenue, profit and cash flow," BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch said in a statement.

"In recognition of the growing strength of the business, we are increasing the interim dividend by a further 11%, the seventh consecutive year of growth."

The earnings update come two days after Britain\’s government said it would allow News Corp. more time to argue its case for a full takeover of satellite broadcaster BSkyB despite competition concerns.

News Corp. had in June bid £7.8 billion for the 61 percent of BSkyB it does not own.

European regulators have since cleared the controversial takeover. However there is fierce opposition to the deal from a host of British broadcasters and newspapers.

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