News a fillip for media giant
NEWS Corp has chalked up a 23 per cent jump in revenue for the past quarter, helped by its extensive digital real estate and book publishing operations.
The media heavyweight yesterday booked revenue of $US2.52 billion ($3.46 billion) for the three months to September, in line with market expectations.
That was up from $US2.06 billion a year earlier.
Net income surged 47 per cent to $US128 million from $US87 million a year earlier.
News Corp chief Robert Thomson said the new financial year was off to an “impressive start”.
The revenue and earnings growth reaffirmed the company’s strategy to “focus on digital development, and to put particular emphasis on subscriptions as the advertising market continues to evolve”, Mr Thomson said.
On a call with analysts and media, he said the transition to digital continued “and we will strive as a company to change the contours of the content landscape for the sake of our businesses and our societies”.
News Corp was in “active negotiations” with technology titans Google, Facebook and Amazon, and was talking to politicians and regulators in Australia, Europe, the UK and the US, he said.
Mr Thomson said the proposal by executive chairman Rupert Murdoch for technology companies to pay a carriage fee for content from trusted publishers was “gathering momentum”.
On the conference call, he described the advertising market as “choppy”.
New Corp, publisher of mastheads including the Cairns Post, The Australian and The Wall Street Journal, reported strong paid digital subscriber growth at many of its mastheads.
At its Australian newspapers, there were more than 440,000 digital subscribers at the end of September, compared with about 375,000 a year earlier.
The group’s news and information services business, which accounts for just under two thirds of its total revenue, posted a 1 per cent increase in revenue to $US1.25 billion.
News Corp’s digital real estate services operations booked an 8 per cent rise in revenue to $US293 million, thanks to continued growth at REA Group, owner of the realestate.com.au website, and Move.
Its book publishing business reported revenue growth of 4 per cent to $US418 million, boosted by strong sales of Girl Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis, The Other Woman, by Daniel Silva, and The Russia Hoax, by Gregg Jarrett.
News Corp’s earnings before income, tax, depreciation and amortisation jumped 44 per cent to $US358 million.