News Corporation’s CEO Rupert Murdoch has reaffirmed his confidence in plans to spin off the print business, after overall revenues increased 5% in the third quarter of the financial year.
However, Australian newspaper advertising revenues were “lower”, whilst the acquisition of Consolidated Media, giving the company 100% ownership of Fox Sports in Australia, contributed to the improved profits.
Overall the company made $9.43bn, with profits of US$1.58bn compared to US$1.5bn a year ago, mainly driven by the US cable TV division, which will form the backbone of the new News Corp.
Murdoch said in a statement the results reflect “strong momentum” and highlighted improvements in the publishing sector, driven principally by an uptick in the UK market, and launch of the Sunday Sun there.
He added: “The strategies we executed against in the quarter continue to bolster News Corporation’s competitive position and enhance our ability to benefit from global demand for content, especially sports programming.
“As we make progress towards the proposed separating of our entertainment and publishing businesses later this year, I am confident in the future prospects for both.”
A further US$56m in costs related to the News of the World phone hacking investigation were also reported in the accounts, compared to US$87m in the last corresponding quarter.
Costs related to the planned separation of the publishing and entertainment business came to $23m for the quarter.