News Corp Profit Up, Foxtel Loan Boost $200M
News Corp has rebounded to a full-year US$228 million profit versus its $US1.44 billion loss the year prior – now pouring a further US$200 million into under-pressure pay-TV provider Foxtel.
Chief Financial Officer, Susan Panuccio, confirmed the additional shareholder loan to Foxtel, covering an expired US$142 million credit facility.
It brings News Corp’s total shareholder loans to Foxtel to ~US$500 million.
For the full-year, Foxtel earnings slumped 19%, with a lift in Kayo and Foxtel Now subscribers seeking to offset broadcast subscriber churn.
News Corp full year revenue lift 12% year-on-year to US$10.07 billion, with EBITDA up US$1.24 billion versus US$1.07 billion.
The company attributes earnings to the growth of Foxtel’s Kayo sports streaming service, higher digital news service subscriptions and the consolidation of Foxtel.
In an earnings call this morning, News Corp CEO Robert Thomson, confirmed Foxtel’s consolidation added to company revenue, alongside digital publication subscriber growth.
“At Foxtel, paying subscribers for the Kayo sports streaming service more than doubled between the third and fourth quarters to 331,000, while average churn among sports subscribers to the Foxtel broadcast service actually fell during the same period,” remarked Thomson
“Clearly, Kayo is adding significantly to the total number of sports viewers in Australia prepared to pay for premium content.”
Q4 net loss came in at US$42 million versus US$355 million the year prior, primarily driven by the former write-off of Fox Sports Australia’s channel distribution agreement intangible asset ($US317 million).
Fourth quarter total revenue slipped 8% to $US2.47 billion, citing lower Harper Collins book publishing revenue and currency fluctuations.