Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has reported a 27 per cent profit boost year-on-year in the last quarter as it filed its year-end results showing total profit up from £1.7bn to £2.7bn.
News Corp, the parent company of News International, publisher of The Sun and the Times, reported profits of £565m in its fourth quarter ending 30 June thanks to its sprawling global assets in film, TV and newspapers.
Chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch declared himself ‘delighted’at the result but warned that the company faces ‘macro-economic challenges’in the coming business year. He said that challenges in world markets would lead to ‘somewhat less robust growth”.
Total turnover for the quarter rose 17 per cent year-on-year to £4.29bn and revenue for the year was up 15 per cent to £16.9bn.
Murdoch’s newspaper publishing empire saw profits increase to £383m – an increase of £57m – a figure boosted by the £2.8bn purchase last December of Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, which added £12m in operating income.
The Journal’s pay-to-view website wsj.com saw an 88 per cent increase in subscriptions, which start at £44.50 for a year. Murdoch had previously been cautious about charging for online content, but said at the Davos Economic Forum in January that the majority of the site would be paid-for.
News Corp‘s Australian papers, where Murdoch began his fledgling roster of titles in the 1960s, enjoyed increased circulations and higher advertising revenue.
Murdoch said: ‘That the newspaper sector is changing is clear – but companies willing to invest in new forms of delivery, which have a commitment to quality, will prosper.”
UK profits were slightly higher despite worsened advertising revenues, and were helped by depreciation costs on printing equipment.
News International ended 18-years of in-house printing at its current Wapping headquarters in April when it unveiled three news state-of-the-art printing plants. Building the presses in Broxbourne, Glasgow and Merseyside cost more than £600m, though the company expects to earn more from contract printing. The Daily and Sunday Telegraph are now printed at Broxbourne.
BSkyB, in which News Corp is the majority shareholder with 39 per cent of the company, gave the company a £72.5m deficit due to a write-down of its 17.8 per cent stake in ITV.