Channel NewsAsia

News Corp profit hobbled by weak newspapers

Rupert Murdoch's publishing group News Corp reported a slim profit on Thursday (Aug 7), amid lower newspaper revenues from both advertising and circulation.

NEW YORK: Rupert Murdoch's publishing group News Corp reported a slim profit on Thursday (Aug 7), amid lower newspaper revenues from both advertising and circulation.

Net profit for the New York-based group amounted to US$12 million in the past quarter, coming a year after a US$1.1 billion loss in the final quarter before Murdoch split the publishing unit from his media entertainment group. Overall revenues were down three percent from a year ago at US$2.2 billion.

"We finished our first full year as the new News Corp and made significant progress in achieving the mission we articulated at the outset - to be more global and more digital through organic growth, product launches and strategic acquisitions," chief executive Robert Thomson said in the earnings statement.

"Thanks to the exciting e-evolution of News Corp's leading global brands, we are enjoying enhanced engagement with our expanding paid audiences, underscoring the growth potential of our diverse portfolio."

Murdoch, who remains executive chairman of News Corp while heading his new 21st Century Fox group, last year split up the two units in a move to bring a sharper focus to each and "unlock shareholder value."

News Corp includes The Wall Street Journal and New York Post newspapers in the United States; The Times, Sunday Times and The Sun in Britain and The Australian in the country of the tycoon's birth. It also includes Dow Jones newswires, Fox Sports Australia and the HarperCollins publishing house.

Late last year, News Corp acquired the "social news agency" Storyful, which seeks to merge journalism with social media. In the company's "news and information" division, revenues were hit by a nine percent decline in advertising revenues and a four percent drop in circulation revenues.

HarperCollins was a bright spot for the company as revenues grew five percent in the quarter, driven by the success of the "Divergent" series for young adults by Veronica Roth which sold more than 19 million copies.

For the full fiscal year ending June 30, News Corp profit was US$237 million on revenues of US$8.57 billion.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia