Tuesday 16 January 2018

Murdoch publishing income plunges by a third in wake of hacking scandal

Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp. Photo: Getty Images
Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp. Photo: Getty Images

NEWS Corp has revealed its publishing income has plunged by more than a third in the wake of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

Results released by the global media empire for the fiscal first-quarter showed operating income for its publishing arm fell by 68 million US dollars (£42.7m) compared with last year.

The company put the 38% decrease down to the closure of the tarnished Sunday tabloid in July and as well as lower advertising revenues at its Australian newspapers

Overall, the Rupert Murdoch-owned organisation saw net income in the July to September period fall to 738 million US dollars (£463m), or 28 cents per share, from 775 million US dollars (£486m), or 30 cents per share, a year ago.

The decision to drop its takeover bid for British Sky Broadcasting, 130 million US dollars (£81.8m) of pre-tax charges and the 91 million US dollars (£57.2m) cost of restructuring its UK newspaper business contributed to the slide, News Corp said.

The report released by the company said: "Publishing reported first quarter segment operating income of 110 million US dollars, a 68 million US dollars or 38% decrease compared to the 178 million US dollars reported a year ago, reflecting the impact from the closure of The News of the World in the UK, as well as lower advertising revenues at the Australian newspapers and integrated marketing services business."

News Corp said revenue grew 7% to 7.96 billion US dollars (£4.99 billion), helped by higher fees for pay TV channels like Fox News and the successful movie Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.

The results come a week before James Murdoch, the chief executive of News International, News Corps UK publishing arm, is to appear before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for the second time over the hacking scandal.

He is to answer questions after evidence he previously gave in relation to emails which proved that hacking went beyond a single reporter was contested by former NI executives.

Chase Carey, News Corp's chief operating officer yesterday said the company had no plans to oust Mr Murdoch, who also holds the role of deputy chief operating officer.

"We have great confidence in James," he said.

"James has done a good job and we are not contemplating any changes."

Press Association

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