British broadcasting giant Sky has reported a 16% increase in operating profits to £675m in the second half of 2014, thanks to an influx of new customers.

Some 204,000 additional customers in the UK and Ireland subscribed to Sky products in the first six months of the financial year, which it says was its biggest growth in nine years.

Looking forward, Sky says that the recent acquisitions of Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia has given it more room for growth.

Group chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: "We closed the first six months of the year with revenues up 5% and operating profit up 16%, reflecting strong customer demand in all five of our markets.

"The strength of our performance in the UK and Ireland shows that our approach to segmenting the market with the complementary Sky and NOW TV brands is working. Across the board, customers are responding to our investment in more high-quality TV and innovative new services."

Following the announcement, shares in Sky edged up by less than 2% to £961.50p.