BROADCASTER BSkyB reported a massive rise in annual profits last night, despite growth for the past quarter being affected by strong competition.

Subscriber growth, customer turnover and average revenue per user for the quarter to June 30 were affected by sports programming from rivals BBC and ITV in June, including Wimbledon and Euro 2004.

The broadcaster announced plans to increase customers by more than a third as it posted a 75 per cent rise in annual profits to £322m.

However, news that the company may have to spend more to attract customers led to BSkyB shares plunging 19 per cent, making the stock the heaviest faller of the day in the FTSE 100 index.

The company announced a new target of ten million subscribers by 2010, compared with the current figure of 7.4 million. It said it believed about 80 per cent of UK and Irish households would have pay TV in the long term, compared with the current 43 per cent.