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Scandal-Hit News Corp Posts $1.5 Billion Loss

Scandal-Hit News Corp Posts $1.5 Billion Loss

London, August 10, 2012 - News Corporation has announced a loss of $US1.6 billion (A$1.5b) in the fourth quarter after writing down its publishing businesses, including in Australia.

The earning results come after News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch confirmed plans to split the company into separate publishing and entertainment businesses.

Murdoch will be chairman of both companies and will be chief executive of the entertainment business.

Business editor Peter Ryan says News Corp has flagged "difficult times" in publishing in the past, but the latest loss has been driven by $3 billion in write-downs.

These have been principally in publishing and News Corp made the point of saying that 'most significantly', the pain was being felt in Australian operations where there has been a lot of restructuring underway through Kim Williams, the chief executive of News Limited.

News says advertising revenue is down in Australian newspapers as well as in British newspapers and Rupert Murdoch wasn't on this morning's teleconference, which is often the case, and he left it to chief financial officer David Devoe to deliver the bad news.

Devoe says the loss largely reflects lower advertising revenue at the Australian and UK newspapers as well as the impact from the closure of News of the World.

The move to split into separate publishing and entertainment arms was approved by the News Corp board in New York.

PMW reports: The Australian-based subsidiary News Limited owned The Fiji Times until it was sold to the local Fiji Motibhai Group in September 2010 in an enforced sale under the Fiji Media Industry Development Decree.

ENDS

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