News Corp profit slides on weaker newspaper revenues

Friday February 5 2016

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and former wife

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and former wife Wendi Deng Murdoch. AFP PHOTO | FREDERIC J. BROWN 

More by this Author

News Corp. on Thursday reported a 56 percent drop in quarterly profits on weaker revenue from its newspaper operations worldwide.

The group formed by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch said profit in the quarter to December 31 fell to $62 million from $142 million a year earlier.
Total revenues dipped four percent from a year ago to $2.16 billion.

"News Corp is evolving rapidly into a more digital and increasingly global company with a diverse revenue mix that we believe will drive long-term growth in profits and shareholder returns," said chief executive Robert Thomson in a statement.

Thomson noted that in newspaper operations, "print advertising remained challenged, but we are seeing growth in digital advertising and circulation revenues," and added that the company is "particularly focused on cost reductions and sharing services around News Corp to streamline operations at the newspapers in Australia and the UK."

News Corp. operations include The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Times of London and Sunday Times, The Sun and a group of newspapers in Australia.


News Corp retained the name of the media-entertainment conglomerate broken up into two separate firms in 2013 as part of Murdoch's plan to "unlock value" for shareholders.

Last year, he began a gradual withdrawal from both companies, sharing the title of chairman with his eldest son Lachlan at both firms while naming son James Murdoch chief executive at the entertainment unit known as 21st Century Fox.

At News Corp, the "news and information" division which is the largest unit, saw an eight percent drop in revenue in the quarter to $1.4 billion, while operating earnings fell 27 percent to $158 million.

Advertising revenues for the division fell 12 percent, driven by weakness in print advertising, currency fluctuations and other factors.

Thomson said the company is seeing strong results from its operations which including online home listings and make News Corp. "the world's largest player in digital real estate."

He also welcomed the impact of the social video ad firm Unruly acquired last year.

"Unruly, the viral digital advertising company acquired late last year, has been swiftly integrated into many of our companies, bringing cutting-edge metrics and a savvy social sensibility," he said.

"We are developing advertising products for clients keen to benefit from the rise of video and mobile."