News International ad revenue up 15 per cent

Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers in the UK saw a 15 per cent increase in advertising revenue in the three months to the end of June.

News Corporation, which runs The Times, Sunday Times, The Sun and the News of the World through its News International business, said the division also saw a boost in operating profits in the fourth quarter of its financial year.

The media giant said operating profit climbed as ad revenue increased and the cost of newsprint fell.

News Corp didn’t specify further details about its UK newspaper business, however it said its newspaper and information division, which includes titles in Australia and the US including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, drew revenue of $1.5bn in the quarter, up from $1.4bn the previous year. Over the full financial year, the division drew revenue of $6.1bn, up year on year from the $5.9bn.

The newspaper and information division increased operating profit 20 per cent in the fourth quarter of the financial year to $115m from the $96m it made in the same period last year. Operating profit for the 12 months to the end of June for the newspaper businesses were $530m, up 20 per cent from the $466 made in the same period the previous year.

News Corp said its full year results performance was driven by lower operating costs after it had set in motion a cost-capping exercise across its newspapers and was also helped by the impact of favourable foreign exchange from the strengthening of the Australian dollar against the US dollar.

Net income across News Corp, which in addition to its newspapers owns Fox News, 20th Century Fox and publisher Harper Collins, was $875m for the quarter after a loss of $203 in the same period the previous year.

Over the full financial year News Corp’s net income was $2.5bn, up from a loss of £3.4bn over the previous 12 months. News Corp’s operating profit was $4bn for the full year, an 11 per cent increase from the $3.6bn reported a year ago.

In total, News Corp drew revenue of $32.8bn in the year to the end of June, an increase of eight per cent from the $30.4bn reported in its last financial year.

The company said its performance had been helped by the continued success of its hit film Avatar, which was selling well on DVD, and strong programming in its TV division which makes shows including the internationally popular Glee.

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