Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has spent $382m (£238m) over the past two years on legal fees dealing with the aftermath of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
In its annual report, released over the weekend, News Corp revealed that its total cost of legal and other professional fees relating to civil and criminal proceedings concerning its UK newspaper arm in the year to June 2013 had been $183m. This is in addition to the approximately $199m it spent in the year to June 2012.
The new figure suggests the cost of proceedings to Murdoch is continuing to rise, after it revealed earlier this year that the total spent to December 2012 was $340m.
News Corp further estimated that it could be liable for another $66m in costs this year as cases continue to be brought.
Overall, News Corp’s figures showed that the media giant had returned to profit in 2012/13. It reported a profit of $506m, compared to a $2.1bn loss last year (on a like-for-like basis). Total revenue was also up from $8.7bn to $8.9bn
The result was boosted by the $1.3bn the company gained, in a one-off accountancy treatment, following its acquisition of Fox Sport Australia owner Consolidated Media.
However, advertising revenue for its newspapers around the world continued to fall. It was down nearly 10 per cent to $3.9bn while its Australian newspaper arm experienced a 15 per cent drop in advertising income.
These are the first figures for News Corp since it was split from renamed TV and film entertainment division 21st Century Fox.
The accounts also reveal total remuneration for News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson of $2,661,463. This figure includes $992,308 salary for the former Times editor, a $1m bonus and an increase of $616,476 in the value of his pension.