The Netflix logo is is shown on an ipad in Encinitas, California. Netflix has reported a first-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations as the dominant video rental service added new streaming subscribers in the United States.

San Francisco - Netflix shares jumped 24 percent in after-hours trade on Monday on earnings figures that indicated original programmes and other tactics are luring viewers to the streaming Internet video service.

The Northern California-based company said that revenue climbed to $1.02-billion as it added 2.03 million new subscribers in the first three months of this year.

Profit for the quarter was reported as $3-million as compared to a loss of $5-million posted in the same quarter a year earlier.

Netflix shares which closed the official trading day up more than six percent leapt 24.33 percent to $216.80 after-hours on the Nasdaq.

The company boasted of “wins” in the quarter that included new algorithms for better recommending shows or films based on what people have viewed.

The launch of original series House Of Cards was also used to test an improved method for promoting programmes to viewers based on their expressed tastes.

Netflix planned in the coming months to roll out “profiles” that would enable viewing suggestions to be tailored to individuals in homes where various family members generally share an account.

Netflix accounts allow for two shows or films to be streamed simultaneously in a nod to the fact that most belong to multi-member households in which people may be watching shows in different rooms at the same time.

This year, Netflix will introduce a plan allowing four shows to be streamed simultaneously at a price about 50-percent higher than the eight dollars monthly charged for accounts today, according to chief executive Reed Hastings.

He downplayed the potential for losing revenue due to people sharing Netflix accounts.

“We like to think that a husband and wife can share an account and that is perfectly appropriate,” Hastings said on an earnings call with financial analysts.

“We really don't think there is much going on of sharing a password with casual acquaintances.” - Sapa-AFP