Netflix registered its best ever quarter for subscriber growth in the final quarter of 2016 as the online TV and video company said international expansion was progressing well.

The United States-based business added 5.1 million customers versus a forecast of 3.75 million in the three months to December.

It forecast another 3.7 million would sign up in the first quarter of 2017.

For the whole of last year, the number of subscribers who signed up to stream its services outside of the US grew from 30 million to 44.4 million.

Netflix began rolling its service out to 130 new countries 12 months ago.

Its international streaming business remained loss-making in 2016, although losses shrank from $333 million in 2015 to $308.5 million last year.

However, Netflix said it expected this to “improve substantially” during 2017.

International streaming revenues increased from $1.95 million to $3.2 million over the period.

Across all of its operations, Netflix saw net profit rise over 52 percent to $186.7 million on revenues that grew 29.4 percent to $8.8 billion.

In a letter to shareholders, the company said: “It’s becoming an internet TV world.”

It added: “We are learning rapidly how best to match content with audience tastes around the world.

“It is clear to us that high quality content travels well across borders.”

Netflix continued to woo telcos as a distribution channel for its content last year.

Telia was one of the most recent operators to sign a deal in October.

But Netflix had a warning for regulators on net neutrality.

“No one wants ISPs to decide what new and potentially disruptive services can operate over their networks, or to favour one service over another,” it said.

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