News Corporation has posted a profit rise of 27% in its fourth quarter results on the back of the strong performance of its film studios and cable TV channels, although chairman Rupert Murdoch has sounded a cautious note for the rest of the year.
Its positive performance comes despite its UK business returning a deficit of £74.1m ($145m) on its 39% stake in broadcaster BSkyB, as it wrote down its stake in rival ITV.
Its UK newspaper business, News International, saw slightly higher profits, due to a drop in depreciation costs on printing equipment that offset falling advertising revenue. While, profits in its overall newspaper division rose by $114m to $767m, with the acquisition of Dow Jones adding an initial contribution of $24m.
Globally, News Corp’s profits rose from $3.4bn to $5.4bn in the year to June, with fourth quarter earnings up 21% to $1.5bn.
Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the international media company, warned in a statement that the challenging economic outlook would affect its future earnings, but he said it was in a good position to deliver “continued, if somewhat less robust growth”.
Its US cable networks, TV and movie businesses saw a strong rise of 59% in annual profits.