James Murdoch easily re-elected to BSkyB board

James Murdoch re-elected easily to board of British Sky Broadcasting despite hacking scandal

Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- James Murdoch has been re-elected to the board of British Sky Broadcasting with little opposition.

However, his 95 percent share of the vote at the company's annual meeting on Thursday was the lowest of the 13 directors who were reappointed.

James Murdoch stepped down as chairman in April after months of pressure because of the investigation of phone hacking at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid, which was part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., the biggest single shareholder in BSkyB.

James Murdoch now serves as a non-executive director. The son of Rupert Murdoch is also on the board of News Corp., where he is deputy chief operating officer.

Eight people have been charged with phone hacking offenses but none of the cases has yet come to trial. However, the scandal forced News Corp. to pull its bid to take full control of BSkyB.

Also Thursday, BSkyB reported that third-quarter net profit was down 3 percent at 219 million pounds ($353 million) as higher operating costs offset a 2.5 percent gain in revenue.

Despite the fall in profit, investors were generally impressed by a 4 percent increase in revenue to 1.715 billion pounds and by a 5 percent spike in operating profit to 310 million pounds.

"Growth in the total number of customers continue to moderate, but revenue growth is now being driven by existing customers taking additional products," said Sam Hart, an analyst at Charles Stanley.

BSkyB's share price was up 8 percent at 759 pence in afternoon trading.

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