UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB has reported first-half pre-tax losses of $163.4m (£112m), compared to $89.7m (£61.5m) the previous year, but has also smashed its own target to sign five million subscribers by the end of 2000.

As of December 31, the company said it had amassed 5,051,000 direct-to-home subscribers, a tally which had grown to 5.25 million by February 6, 2001.

First-half turnover was up 28% to $1.585m (£1.086bn) during the period, but operating costs also increased 26% to $1.51m (£1.035bn) as the company invested in subscribers and programming. Film costs rose by $48m (£33m) to $233.5m (£160m), due to a 20% increase in the average number of movie subscribers and pay-per-view purchases.