TV income helps News Corp's profits more than double

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation recorded a 150 per cent leap in profits in the last three months of 2010, mainly through a vast increase in television income, the company said last night.

Reporting its second quarter results, News Corp said it had a net income of $642m (£385m) compared with net income of $254m in the second quarter the previous year.

Total revenue was $8.76bn in the last three months of last year, a marginal increase on the $8.684bn made in the same period the previous year.

However, the company said its strong results had been pegged back by restructuring at MySpace which has cost it $275m. In a conference call senior executives hinted that News Corp may sell off the beleaguered social networking business.

Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corp, said: “News Corporation’s second quarter results demonstrate the mounting vigour of our global channels business.

“In the US market, our cable channels are still expanding and adding subscribers, while increasing their revenues and profits at a double-digit pace on the strength of affiliate fee increases and buoyant advertising markets.

“I am also pleased with the continued recovery of our US broadcasting business, including our local TV stations and the Fox Broadcasting Company, which posted its best quarterly profit in two and a half years.

“Momentum at our international businesses is equally brisk, with international channel revenues in the quarter up 20 per cent on particular strength in Latin America and our STAR channels in India.

“And at SKY Italia, operating results indicate that the business is back on track, achieving its highest quarterly net subscriber additions in the last two years.”

News Corp’s cable division, which includes Fox News, improved operating income by 22 per cent to $735m with revenue up to $1.97bn from the $1.76bn it made in the same period the previous year.

Rupert Murdoch didn’t attend a conference call with analysts to discuss News Corp’s results as he was launching the company’s new iPad only news service in New York.

Called The Daily, the service has had $30m invested in it by News Corp with 100 journalists working on the project which Murdoch hopes will introduce the next generation business model for newsgathering.

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