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Aust Leads News Corp Tumble

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp took a slide as it reported a loss of US$306.7 million for the September quarter – in stark contrast to its $186 million positive result at the same time last year.

The company reported fiscal 2020 first-quarter total revenues of $2.34 billion, 7% lower than last year.

Australia was one of the drivers of the loss, with the company attributing a major hit to “challenges in the Australian housing market”.

The results also reflect lower subscription revenues at Foxtel and difficulties at the book publishing segment.

The traditional news and information businesses took an advertising-revenue hit of 5% compared to a year earlier. The Australian operations, which include names like the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Australian and Courier Mail, were down 11%.

The 65% owned Foxtel is turning out to be a thorn in the side of News Corp. Foxtel’s subscribers totalled 3.06 million for the quarter, up 6% on the prior year, but the number of subscribers to News Corp’s traditional pay-TV service softened to 2.32 million from 2.4 million.

Overall Foxtel debts top $2.3 billion and News has announced a debt restructure in coming weeks to try to put the group on a more solid financial grounding.

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