Sunday, 18 November, 2018

News Corp not chasing mergers to compete with Nine-Fairfax powerhouse

News Corp chief backs Foxtel despite subscription revenue fall News Corp worldwide reports $1.4bn net loss, but paid subscriptions rise
Priscilla Morrison | 12 August, 2018, 04:46

The move saw News Corp's (which owns Fox Sports) equity in Foxtel rise to 65% and Telstra's share reduced to 35%.

Revenue by type: Advertising, $740M (up 0.4%); Circulation and subscription, $1.07B (up 69%); Consumer, $444M (up 13.8%); Real estate, $225M (up 31.6%).

The company's goal for its combined Foxtel and Fox Sports Australia business continues to be an initial public offering (IPO), she and News Corp.

Digital revenues represented 30% of News and Information Services segment revenues, compared to 26% in the prior year, reflecting strong paid digital subscriber growth at mastheads.

Earnings (before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) over the three months was down 39 per cent compared to the same time in 2017 due to the revenue hit, increasing programming costs for major sports and $US10 million in additional transition costs.

Overall revenue was 29% higher at $2.69 billion.

"We generated strong revenue and segment EBITDA growth in the digital real estate services and book publishing segments which, together with the consolidation of Foxtel, drove over US$1 billion in profitability for the year", he said.

News Corp posted a 29% lift in full year revenue to $US2.69 billion.

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The number of subscribers to Foxtel grew 2% to 2.8 million in the year to 30 June 2018.

We have created an interactive dashboard on what to expect from News Corp's fiscal 2019 earnings which outline our forecasts for the company's full-year fiscal 2019 results. Since then, News Corp. has relied on its digital real-estate business for growth, while trying to reduce its exposure to newspaper advertising by adding more digital subscribers.

"We are seeing strong digital paid subscriber growth across many of our key properties, where digital subscribers now exceed print", CFO Susan Panuccio said on an earnings call August 9.

The swathe of red ink came despite healthy digital subscriber growth led by The Times, Sunday Times and Wall Street Journal as well as successes at its property portal realestate.com in addition to its book publishing unit.

"News Corp is now a more substantial company after the Foxtel transaction, with a much higher percentage of recurring, subscription-based revenues, which should help offset a volatile advertising environment".

For that segment, the company expects "reinvestment this year" that will focus on launching new OTT products, 4K, the next generation of the Foxtel iQ digital set-top box and "managing our valuable broadcast base", she said.

Five years ago News Corp underwent a restructure that saw its entertainment assets spun off into a separate company from its publishing businesses, including Harper Collins.

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