Dig­i­tal push pays off

News Corp posts rise in quar­terly rev­enue

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS - DAR­REN DAVID­SON

NEWS Corp re­ported a 6 per cent rise rev­enue in the third quar­ter, driven by a strong per­for­mance in dig­i­tal real-es­tate, book pub­lish­ing and rev­enue growth in ev­ery seg­ment.

The com­pany posted rev­enue of $2.79 bil­lion ($US2.10 bil­lion) for the three months to March, up from $US1.98 bil­lion in the prior cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod.

The rev­enue re­sult was slightly ahead of es­ti­mates from an­a­lysts polled by Bloomberg.

News Corp recorded a net loss of $US1.13 bil­lion com­pared to $US5 mil­lion in the same pe­riod a year ear­lier, and a loss of $1.94 per share, com­pared with a loss of 1c per share in the prior year.

The loss was pri­mar­ily driven by non-cash writedowns of $US998 mil­lion re­lated to Fox­tel and Fox Sports Aus­tralia, as well as a non-cash im­pair­ment charge of $US165 mil­lion at News Amer­ica Marketing.

The re­sults comes af­ter News Corp, which pub­lishes the Gold Coast Bul­letin, fi­nalised a merger of sub­scrip­tion-TV busi­nesses Fox­tel and Fox Sports.

News holds a 65 per cent stake in the com­bined en­tity, with Tel­stra hold­ing the balance.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Robert Thomson said: “We fin­ished the fis­cal third quar­ter with strong rev­enue growth, led by out­stand­ing per­for­mances at our dig­i­tal real-es­tate ser­vices and book pub­lish­ing seg­ments.”

The update from News Corp came as shares in REA Group hit an all-time high af­ter the op­er­a­tor of realestate.com.au posted a 19 per cent in­crease in rev­enue for the three months to March com­pared to the same pe­riod a year ear­lier.

Led by strong de­mand in its res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial busi­nesses and helped by its new fi­nan­cial ser­vices busi­ness, REA posted $186 mil­lion in rev­enue for the quar­ter. REA is ma­jor­ity owned by News Corp.

Pic­ture: RO­HAN KELLY

Robert Thomson is chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of News Cor­po­ra­tion.

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