Sky said it performed well in the first three months of its financial year, as growth in customer numbers and products on offer in the third quarter led to an increase in revenue and operating profit.

In the nine months to 31 March, the broadcaster saw revenue increase 5% year-on-year to £8.71bn (€11.1bn, $12.5bn), or £8.31bn on a constant currency basis, while operating profits were 12% higher than in the corresponding period in 2015 as they rose to £1.14bn.

The group's divisions performed strongly in the UK and Ireland, and in Germany and Austria. The former posted a 6% increase in revenue and a 12% gain in profit, both on a constant currency basis, while the latter saw revenue jump 10% year-on-year.

The strong performance in both businesses offset a somewhat disappointing display in Sky's Italy-based business, which saw operating profit tank 49% from the previous 12 months, while revenue fell 2% as the broadcaster lost the rights to the UEFA Champions League.

Overall, Sky added 177,000 new customers in the third quarter, bringing its tally to 21.7m users, while the company wheeled out 686,000 new products over the last three months taking the overall number of products on offer in the UK to 40m.

The group, which has secured exclusive coverage of the Formula One World Championship and of all four golf majors in the UK and will broadcast the Euro 2016 Championship in Italy, remained focused on continuing its expansion plans.

"Our strategy to broaden our business, expanding into new markets and customer segments, has delivered further excellent financial results," said group chief executive Jeremy Darroch. "As we pass the major milestone of 40 million products in UK and Irish households, we will continue to execute this successful approach across the group."