By Jonathan Davies

Netflix shares jumped 12% in after-hours trading yesterday (Tuesday) after it reported a strong end to 2014.

The online TV streaming service reported better-than-expected profits of $83m (£55m) in the three months to the end of December, up from $48m in the same period last year.

It came after new subscriptions also beat forecasts. Netflix now has 57.4m customers around the world, 18.28m of which are in the US.

Revenue in the period was up 23% to $1.48bn.

It said its profitable expansion plans will be complete in two years, ahead of schedule.

Netflix also announced that it will release Sony's controversial film The Interview from 24 January, just 30 days after it was released in cinemas.

The film, which depicts a fictional plot to kill North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un, had its release initially suspended due to cyber attacks which threatened the public.

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