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News Corp reports improvement in global revenues, driven by real estate growth

News Corp’s global revenues rose back above US$2bn in the first quarter of its 2018 financial year, the company has revealed.

The 5% rise was mainly attributed to the continuing growth of real estate businesses REA Group and Move.

However the company’s print products and subscription TV platform Foxtel are still struggling.

Last year’s acquisitions of APN News & Media’s Australian Regional Media group of regional newspapers also helped News Corp – Australia’s biggest newspaper publisher – report a higher number.

A further factor was the weakening of the Australian dollar, meaning that what would otherwise have been a negative number to report, was positive in US currency terms.

EBITDA profits (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) were $249m, a 92% increase from last year in the same period. This was in large part because last year the company’s profits took a $45m hit relating to its UK newspapers phone hacking scandal.

Source: News Corp

News Corp’s local titles include The Australian, Sydney’s Telegraph titles, Victoria’s Herald-Sun and Brisbane’s Courier Mail, along with Sky News, Fox Sports and a half share of Foxtel.

The biggest area of growth for News Corp was from real estate, up 20% from the same time last year to $271m.

Cable network programming contributed $145m to total revenue, up 13%, while news and information services contributed $1.241b – up 2%.

Overseas saw declines in revenue for the company’s News UK and News America Marketing units, which fell 6% and 4% respectively.

While the company did not fully break down its Australian newspaper business’s performance, it did refer to “lower print volume”.

The company also said that News Corp Australia’s mastheads now have 375,400 digital subscribers, although it did not reveal what revenue is coming from that.

News Corp also revealed that pay TV company Foxtel is continuing to struggle, with subscription revenues down 2% and profits down $21m to $122m.

 

News Corp previously reported a 2% revenue decline in its 2017 financial year.

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