News Corp's revenues dip from UK newspapers

News Corporation made profits of $832 million (£416m) in the last three months of 2007, the most profitable quarter in the company’s history.

Its newspaper and information services globally increased their overall operating income by 15 per cent to $196 million (£99.6m), up $26 million (£13m) on the same period in 2006.

But its UK arm, News International, which includes The Sun and The Times, reported lower profits compared to the last three months of 2006, mainly due to investment in three new full-colour printing presses. UK advertising revenues increased slightly, but overall circulation dipped.

CEO Rupert Murdoch said that the company had managed ‘consistently strong financial results irrespective of individual market conditions.”

He said: ‘We are obviously proud of the results we delivered….but most important is the balanced nature of our earnings momentum with double-digit growth at nearly every operating segment.”

News Corp said losses from affiliates were $50 million (£25m), down from income of $249million ($126m) the previous year. The heavy drop was largely due to lower contribution from BSkyB because the write-down of its investment in ITV.

Murdoch quashed speculation that the Wall Street Journal website would become free under his ownership. He confirmed that WSJ.com would remain largely subscription-based.

Murdoch also ruled out making a bid for internet search company Yahoo! after Microsoft tabled a £22.65 billion bid for the internet pioneers. He said: “We are just not interested at this stage.”

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