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DirecTV Reports More Sales, Subs For Q4

El Segundo, Calif. — DirectTV reported higher sales and lower net income for its fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, and added substantially more subscribers in quarter and during the year.

Fourth-quarter 2008 revenues increased 9 percent to $5.31 billion, while net income reached $332 million, down 5 percent compared with the same quarter in the previous year.

Operating profit declined 6 percent to $579 million compared with last year’s fourth quarter.

Chase Carey, president/CEO, commented that DirecTV had “the best quarterly net subscriber growth in over 3 years at DirecTV U.S. with 301,000 net new subscribers added in the fourth quarter. Despite the more challenging economic and competitive landscape, we remained sharply focused on attaining higher quality subscribers while driving a 6 percent increase in gross additions to over 1 million subscribers and maintaining a low churn rate of 1.42 percent.”

Carey added, “With these strong fourth quarter results, DirecTV U.S. ended 2008 with the highest gross additions in 3 years at 3.9 million subscribers and the lowest monthly churn level in 9 years at 1.47 percent.”

For 2008 DirecTV’s revenues increased 14 percent to $19.7 billion over the prior year, due in part to higher subscriber growth at DirecTV U.S.

Net income climbed 5 percent to $1.52 billion compared with last year, primarily due to the higher operating profit and lower tax expense related to additional tax credits and the realization of net operating losses in Latin America, and was partially offset by higher net interest expense associated with an increase in average outstanding debt.

Operating profit increased 8 percent to $2.7 billion.