News Corporation today reported increased advertising income at its UK titles as it reported ballooning global profits fuelled by the success of US feature film Avatar.
New Corp globally reported total revenue for the third quarter up 19 per cent to $8.8bn and operating profits up 55 per cent to $1.25bn.
It means the company as a whole has bulging coffers as it embarks on its plan to charge for all its online newspaper content – starting with The Times and Sunday Times next month.
Chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch said: “Today’s earnings confirm that no content company is stronger than News Corporation at building both fiscal and operational momentum.
“Our global portfolio of sought-after content is ideally situated to benefit from the increase in consumer spending, advertising and access to new platforms we are seeing across our regions.
“The unique strengths of our cable channels, young, vibrant franchises with phenomenal growth and potential, now generate almost half of our operating profit, ensuring that our stakeholders will continue to benefit from News Corporation’s sustained revenue, profit and cash flow strength for years to come.”
The Filmed Entertainment division reported operating income of $497m, up 76 per cent year on year, helped by Avatar which has become the highest grossing film of all time with box office receipts of over $2.7bn.
The Newspapers and Information Services division reported third quarter operating income of $131m, up from $29m in the same period a year ago.
The growth was driven by increased advertising revenues at The Wall Street Journal and at the UK newspapers division which comprises The Times, Sunday Times, Sun and News of the World.
In the UK advertising revenues were up 10 per cent year on year but circulation revenues declined by four per cent.
At the Wall Street Journal advertising revenue was up 25 per cent year on year and circulation revenue also increased.