By Jonathan Davies

Sky added more than 200,000 customers in the Uk and Ireland in the second half of 2014, its highest growth in subscriptions for nine years.

Sky also reported profits of £675m, a 16% rise on the same period last year. It comes after increased demand for its pay-TV services and a 'major' fall in the number of customers leaving.

It was the first financial update since BSkyB, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia merged in November last year.

"Alongside our continued strength in the UK and Ireland, the acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland gives us an expanded opportunity for growth," said chief executive Jeremy Darroch said.

"Both businesses had a strong quarter."

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