Television

News Corp net profit down 52%; revenue down 1%

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MUMBAI: News Corp’s quarterly profit was down 52 per cent due to foreign-exchange fluctuations and lower advertising sales offset revenue gains in book publishing and the digital real-estate business.

The company’s net income for the three months ended 31 March, 2015 fell to $23 million, or four cents a share, from $48 million, or eight cents, in the same period a year earlier.

For the fiscal 2015 third quarter, total revenues slipped one per cent to $2.06 billion as compared to $2.08 billion in the prior year. The majority of the revenue decline reflects negative foreign currency fluctuations and lower advertising revenues at the News and Information Services segment, offset in large part by growth in the Book Publishing and Digital Real Estate Services segments as a result of the acquisition of Harlequin Enterprises Limited and Move, Inc., respectively.

News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said, “The new News Corp continues to build a firm foundation for digital growth. We see that most clearly in the successful integration of realtor.com®, which grew audience and revenue at record levels in the third quarter. News Corp is now a global leader in digital real estate, which we believe will underpin long-term expansion and complement our expertise in news and financial analysis, both of which have been important ingredients in realtor.com’s accelerated growth. While the quarter faced some revenue challenges, particularly at News and Information Services, including currency headwinds, our adjusted EBITDA was relatively stable, underscoring the strength of our assets and the diversification of our revenue base. We believe the company is firmly on track and the signs are positive for year-over-year EBITDA growth in the fourth quarter.”

As compared to $175 million in the prior year, News Corp’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell seven per cent to $163 million on legal costs, currency fluctuations and increased stock-based compensation expenses from the acquisition of Move Inc.

These results include $15 million and $20 million in fees and costs – net of indemnification – related to the U.K. Newspaper Matters in the three months ended 31 March, 2015 and 2014, respectively. Declines at the News and Information Services segment, including higher legal costs at News America Marketing, negative foreign currency fluctuations and increased stock-based compensation expense resulting from the acquisition of Move were partially offset by lower expenses at Amplify and increased revenues in the Book Publishing segment due to the inclusion of Harlequin results.

Free cash flow available to News Corporation decreased by $105 million in the nine months ended March 31, 2015 to $391 million, primarily as a result of certain one-time items.

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