News Corp quarterly profits up

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has posted record profits for the fifth year running, with strong revenue growth in newspapers, magazines and television.

Announcing its fourth quarter results, covering the period from April to June, News Corp said this morning it has seen operating income up 15 per cent year on year, to an all-time high of $4.45bn (£2.2m) from $3.9bn (£1.9m) last year.

Murdoch’s print businesses continue to grow, with increased income on the strength of cost savings and revenue from advertising inserts and in-store marketing.

The newspapers division saw operating income increase by more than 25 per cent year on year, from $517m (£258m) to $653m (£376m).

News Corp’s UK nationals – The Times, Sunday Times, Sun and News of the World – saw improved revenue, with dwindling advertising revenue offset by “lower promotional and employee costs” and a favourable pound-dollar exchange rate. The introduction of a new colour printing operation has brought $99m (£49m) in cost savings, the company said.

Murdoch’s Australian newspapers saw a slight decline in income – with advertising revenue and cover prices up, but printing costs also increasing.

Meanwhile, the group’s magazines reported annual revenue up nine per cent, from $307m ($153m) in the year ending June 2006 to $335m (£167m) today. The company said lower printing costs was one of the factors contributing to this growth.

US cable news channel Fox News reported operating income up a third year on year, helped by increased ratings and higher advertising revenue as a result.

Murdoch said his company had once again delivered “robust financial results”, and had been “aggressive” in buying back almost $1.3bn (£650m) of its own shares.

“The continued expansion of [our] assets and the further evolution of our traditional businesses in the digital world will pave the way for sustained growth in the years to come,” he said.

To read more about Murdoch’s global media empire, see page 13 of this week’s Press Gazette.

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