News Corp has reported its most profitable year in nearly a decade, according to chief executive Robert Thomson, after he unveiled the multinational media company’s Q3 FY21 results.
The company’s revenue rose by three per cent to $US2.34 billion ($3.01bn) for the March quarter while total segment EBITDA grew 23 per cent to $US298 million ($382.9m).
News Corp also reported a net income of $US96 million ($123.3m), up from a net loss of $US1 billion ($1.28bn) in the prior year.
In a statement on News Corp Australia’s outlets this morning, Thomson said: “The financial year is on a trajectory to be the most profitable since our reincarnation in 2013.
“This highlights the transformed character of the company, with improved revenue performance and a 23 percent increase in profitability in the third quarter.
“The results vindicate the strategy of simplifying the asset mix, vigorously pursuing digitisation, slimming the cost base, and investing in three growth areas—digital real estate services, Dow Jones and book publishing.”
Foxtel (which News Corp has a 65 per cent stake in) saw adjusted revenue fall 4 per cent in the quarter, due to a reduction in commercial subscription revenues and fewer residential subscribers.
At the end of March Foxtel’s total closing paid subscribers were 3.541 million, News Corp said, representing a 21 per cent lift compared to the prior year, mostly due to the launch of streaming services Binge and growth in Kayo sports subscribers.
However, excluding that revenues grew 13 per cent ($US61 million) year on year.
News Corp’s subscription video services business increased its revenue by 13 per cent from $US462 million ($593.6m) to $US523 million ($671.9m).
Thomson told News Corp Australia that the global business’ latest results “vindicate the strategy” of simplifying News Corp’s asset mix, “vigorously pursuing digitisation, slimming the cost base, and investing in growth areas”.
These include Digital Real Estate, the Dow Jones and book publishing, which collectively delivered 55 per cent earnings growth for the quarter.
News Corp said its digital real estate pre-tax earnings jumped 58 per cent during the quarter to US$117 million ($150m) with a lift in property listings across its US-based Move while property market boom in Australia drove returns from realestate.com.au.
The Harper Collins book publishing arm of News Corp reportedly saw a 45 per cent jump in pre-tax earnings to $US80 million ($102.7m) during the quarter after revenue rose off the back of higher sales of back catalogue and the launch of several new titles.
In addition, digital book sales increased 38 per cent in the quarter compared to the previous year, News Corp reported, which was driven by growth in both e-book and downloadable audiobooks.
Digital sales represented 26 per cent of consumer revenues for the quarter, News Corp said.
To review News Corp’s Q3 FY21 results in full, click here.