Media giant News Corp has started off the new financial year with some positive overall first-quarter results.
The company’s revenue rose 23 per cent to US$2.52 billion for the quarter, compared to US$2.06 million on the first quarter of FY18.
The revenue growth was driven by the consolidation of Foxtel and FOX SPORTS Australia, as well as the performances of its digital real estate services (up eight per cent to US$293 million) and book publishing (up 4 per cent to US$418 million) segments.
REA Group increased its revenue by nine per cent to US$173 million in Q1 of FY19, compared to the prior corresponding period a year ago.
News Corp attributed this growth to an increase in Australian residential depth revenue, driven by favourable product mix and pricing increases, as well as the acquisitions of Smartline and Hometrack Australia.
Meanwhile, News Corp’s revenue for its news and information services segment only grew one per cent over the quarter to $7 million, with its Australian operations experiencing a seven per cent revenue drop.
Advertising revenues for the news and information services segment declined seven per cent, driven by weakness in the print advertising market, mainly in Australia and the UK, as well as and lower home-delivered revenues at for News America Marketing.
Digital revenue represented 33 per cent of total revenue for News Corp’s news and information segment in Q1 – up from 27 per cent in the first quarter of FY18.
Circulation and subscription revenues rose two per cent, with closing digital subscribers for News Corp Australia’s mastheads as of 30 September 2018 at 442,400, compared to 375,400 in the prior year.
News Corp’s overall net income jumped 47 per cent to $US128 million in Q1 of the 2019 fiscal year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation grew 44 per cent to $358 million.
Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp, said the company’s quarterly revenue and earnings growth reaffirmed its strategy to focus on digital development, “and to put particular emphasis on subscriptions as the advertising market continues to evolve”.