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It added 242,000 customers in the third quarterReuters

British broadcaster Sky has reported operating profits up by a fifth to reach £1bn ($1.5bn, €1.4bn) in the past nine months as its growth in subscribers has gone through the roof.

It registered 242,000 new customers in its third quarter, over 70% more than it did in the same period last year, leading it to its biggest Q3 growth in 11 years.

The merger with Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia has obviously helped by Sky said the UK proved to be its most successful market, adding over 127,000 subscribers. Overall it means Sky now has 20.8 million customers in Europe.

Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive, said: "The UK and Ireland delivered a stand-out performance, reporting both the highest customer growth and lowest churn for eleven years. We took share in broadband and grew strongly in TV as our dual-brand strategy with NOW TV and Sky continues to deliver.

"As these results demonstrate, our teams are working well together right across the new Sky. Five months in, our integration plans are progressing well and we are well positioned for the expanded growth opportunity ahead."

Shares in Sky were dented when the broadcaster forked out a record £4.2bn ($6.2bn, €5.6bn) for the latest batch of Premier League rights. But investors have now warmed to the idea as shares now stand at around 1,098.25 – the highest they have been since 2000.