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News Corp Records Most Profitable Quarter In Seven Years

News Corp’s second quarter for 2021 was the most profitable quarter the company has seen in seven years, with Foxtel subscriptions enjoying a 12 per cent lift to 1.3 million paying subscribers.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned media company posted a small decline in overall revenue to $US2.41 billion ($A3.1bn), down 3 per cent compared to the previous year.

The company posted a net income of $US261 million, compared to $103 million in the prior year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation grew from $US355 million to $US497 million, while adjusted revenue increased by 2 per cent compared to the previous year.

News Corp’s Subscription Video Services Segment EBITDA grew by 77 per cent, as Foxtel benefited from lower costs while reaching a record of more than 1.3 million paying OTT subscribers as of the quarter end.

Of the paying subscribers in Australia, Kayo made up 624,000 and Binge contributed 431,000.

Commenting on the results, News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson said: “The second quarter of fiscal 2021 was the most profitable quarter since the new News Corp was launched more than seven years ago, reflecting the ongoing digital transformation of the business.

We reported the largest profits for Dow Jones since the acquisition of the company in 2007, with Segment EBITDA increasing 43 percent and traffic across the Dow Jones digital network surging 48 percent.

There was also a 77 percent rise in Segment EBITDA at the Subscription Video Services segment, where the exponential evolution at Foxtel continued apace, with streaming customers increasing over 90 percent, rights costs reset and audiences for summer sports at unprecedented levels.”

News Corp Australia, which publishes mastheads such as The Australian and The Daily Telegraph, posted a revenue decline of 11 per cent for the quarter.

“The decline also reflects weakness in the print advertising market and the $34 million, or 4%, impact from the closure or transition to digital of certain regional and community newspapers in Australia,” News Corp noted in the earnings call.

However, closing digital subscribers at News Corp Australia’s mastheads as of December 31, 2020 were 738,300, compared to 566,600 in the prior year.

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