News Corp profits dip but Murdoch confident for long term

The Murdoch media empire News Corp has reported first quarter operating profit down nine per cent to $943m on turnover which rose to $7.5bn compared with $7.1bn in the same period last year.

Operating income in News Corp’s print businesses – which include News International in the UK – was said to be similar to a year ago thanks to reduced depreciation expenses on decommissioned print plants in the UK.

The News Corp media empire includes TV, Film, book publishing and newspapers around the world – and most recently the aquisition of Wall Street Journal owner Dow Jones.

News Corp chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch said: ‘I’m pleased that our cable group continues to perform extremely well, SKY Italia remains a top performer and Fox Interactive Media is seeing revenue growth even in the face of negative macroeconomic conditions around the globe, including weak advertising markets.

‘All media companies are being tested and the year ahead will be difficult. I am confident that our long-term strategy of cultivating diversified assets at different stages of development, judicious investment of our capital and a strong balance sheet will guide us through these difficult times.”

Operating income from magazines and inserts was down to $68m from $93m in the same period last year while newspapers and information services contributed $134m of operating income compared with $93m.

The Fox News Channel (FNC) was said to have increased its operating income by 27 per cent year-on-year. News Corp said that during the quarter, viewership at FNC was more than 60 per cent higher than its nearest competitor in primetime and more than 55 per cent higher on a 24-hour basis.

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