News Corporation has revealed a 35 per cent fall in global publishing in income, despite what the company called “increased contributions from UK newspapers”.
The media giant’s third quarter financial results showed that it generated a turnover of $85 million (£55 million) from publishing in the three months to the end of March, down from $130 million (£84 million) during the same period last year.
However, overall New Corp saw quarterly revenue grow 14 per cent from $8.4 billion (£5.41 billion) to $9.54 billion (£6.14 billion) year on year.
Net income for shareholders more than doubled from $937 million (£603 million) to $2.43 billion (£1.57 billion) during the period.
In a statement to the stock market this morning, the company said the results included $42 million (£27 million) of costs related to the continuing investigation of the events surrounding the closure of the News of the World. There were $63 million (£41 million) of similar costs in the same period last year, according to The Guardian the total cost of the hacking scandal is said to have increased to $380 million (£245 million).
The group’s publishing business, which is dominated by its newspaper empire, was said to have received a boost from the launch of the Sunday edition of The Sun last year, to replace the defunct News of the World. But the statement said that this was “more than offset by lower advertising revenues at the Australian newspapers and integrated marketing services businesses”.
The results emerged as a group of rebel shareholders is reported to have called for chairman Rupert Murdoch to cede control of the group.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the group of US, UK and Canadian investors, led by Julie Tanner, a director of America’s Christian Brothers Investment Services, filed a resolution to separate the chairman and chief executive roles at News Corporation, both currently held by Murdoch.
He will continue in the dual role beyond the summer when the group is set to split its film and television arm, 21st Century Fox, from the publishing unit that will retain the News Corporation name.
“There is insufficient evidence that the proposed restructuring reflects the interests of the wider shareholder body,” said Tannner.
News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch said: "In our fiscal third quarter News Corp. achieved organic growth across our cable, film and television segments and,through the consolidation of Sky Deutschland and sale of stakes in SKY New Zealand and Phoenix Satellite Television, we advanced our strategic agenda to simplify our global portfolio.
"We also announced our plans to broaden our core cable business with the unveiling of our national sports channel Fox Sports 1 and our third branded FX channel, FXX. Both initiatives underscore our strategy of maximising existing assets and leadership positions to drive sustainable growth and long-term value.
“We are on target to complete the proposed separation of our businesses near the end of our fiscal year. As we prepare to launch two new industry leaders with new News Corporation and 21st Century Fox, I am more confident than ever of the long-term value the separation will unlock for the Company and its shareholders.”