Strong demand for pay TV in Britain and a record jump in customer numbers in Germany helped Sky to post a 16% rise in first-half adjusted operating profit in its maiden results as a European pay-TV group. 

Sky was formed from the combination of Britain's BSkyB, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia to serve 20 million customers in Europe.

It said today it had also seen a significant decline in the number of people leaving their platforms. 

Overall the group posted first half adjusted operating profit up 16% to £675m, well ahead of forecasts of £644m in a consensus provided by the company.