News Corp dollars drop while Murdoch plans to drop dollars
News Corp has seen a 4 per cent decline in its annual revenue, blaming issues arising in the first full year since the Rupert Murdoch media empire was split in two.
“While we are operating in a challenging advertising environment, our results highlight the diversification of our portfolio and our cost discipline, leading to improved free cash flow and a firm foundation for sustained growth,” News Corp chief Robert Thomson said while announcing the data.
But this year had previously been slated as a year of transition for News Corp, and analysts are most keen to see whether its separate newspaper division, its majority-owned real estate classified business, REA , or its education arm Amplify, would trim their losses.
The international New Corp group makes about 30 per cent of its revenue through News Corp Australia, which itself comprises newspapers including The Australian and Herald Sun, 62 per cent of real estate classified company REA Group, a half-stake in pay-TV operator Foxtel, Fox Sports Australia, and publisher HarperCollins Australia.
“Fiscal 2014 full-year revenues [for news and information] decreased $US578 million, or 9 per cent, compared to the prior year,” News Corp said.
“Australian newspaper revenues declined 18 per cent, of which 10 per cent was related to foreign currency, and accounted for the majority of the segment revenue decline compared to the prior year.”
The results came just after news that News Corp's sister company, entertainment firm 21st Century Fox, announced it had pulled out of an audacious $US80 billion bid for major US rival Time Warner.
Murdoch grabbed some media interest in a tweet that said he had an “exciting week in Australia with great team digging company out of many holes”.
He indicated he wanted to buy US newspapers the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, owned by Tribune Co, which he could if only “cross-ownership laws from another age” were not in place.