Newspapers fuel News Corp publishing profits boost

News Corp has reported a 50 per cent in increase in operating profit across its publishing business – which includes newspapers in the UK, US and Australia.

In reported this morning that in the first quarter of its current financial year, to 30 September, it made an operating income of $178m from its publishing business, compared to $118m in the same period a year ago. This was mainly due, the company said, to increased contributions from the newspaper side of the business.

Advertising revenues for newspaper titles were said to be up 13 per cent up year on year for the quarter, with gains across the world. News Corp said it also benefited from lower newsprint and distribution costs in the UK.

Overall operating profit across the News Corp empire – which includes satellite and cable TV and film businesses – was up eight per cent year on year to $1.15bn on total revenues for the quarter up three per cent to $7.4bn.

Chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch said: “Our global cable network programming business continues to lead News Corporation‘s financial and operational momentum.

“With continued subscriber growth in new and established channels throughout the world, and a global advertising recovery, our domestic and international channels now account for 25 per cent of our revenues, and uniquely position us for profitable expansion of these franchises in the years to come.

“At the same time, our television segment enjoyed significant operating income growth compared to the first quarter a year ago as local ad markets continue to rebound. Our publishing segment also showed expanded operating income, benefiting from greater advertising revenue and operational efficiencies at our newspapers.

“We continue to invest in superior content across all of our businesses, ensuring the best in news, sports and entertainment, competitively positioning our business for long term growth.”

The 39 per cent of BSkyB which News Corp currently owns contributed $137m to the company’s net earnings for the three months, up from $81m in the same period a year ago. News Corp is current seeking to acquire the remaining 61 per cent of News Corp it does not already own and today business secretary Vince Cable referred that bid to Ofcom.

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