News Corp sales hit US$10bn

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Revenue at News Corp rose by 12 per cent to hit $10bn in 2018-19, its book publishing division saw record profits, but print advertising was down on the year prior.

Total segment EBITDA was up by 16 per cent to $1.24bn from $1bn last year. News Corp’s news division has enjoyed a five per cent profit boost over the financial year thanks in part to News Corp Australia.

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News Corp: print advertising down, but circulation up

Revenue at News Corp Australia dropped by six per cent on lower print advertising, however EBITDA was up by five per cent as margins improved.

News and Information Services revenues dropped by $163m from FY18 to FY19, with advertising revenue slumping seven per cent thanks in part to a drop in print advertising; however, revenue from circulation and subscription was up by one per cent.

Though revenue fell, full-year EBITDA for the segment was up $20m over the previous year, which News Corp attributes to higher contributions from News Corp Australia and from Dow Jones; digital subscriptions were a significant factor.

“We posted higher Segment EBITDA at our News and Information Services segment, thanks to a rapid rise in digital paid subscribers, particularly at Dow Jones,” said chief executive Robert Thomson. “The Wall Street Journal recorded a notable increase in digital-only subscribers, who now account for over 69 per cent of the total subscriber base.”

Though Book Publishing revenues were flat, EBITDA for the segment increased by $14m, or six per cent, owing to a strong mix of titles as well as a rise in digital audiobook sales; digital sales represented 20 per cent of consumer revenues for the year. News Corp has hailed the segment’s EBITDA of $253m over the 2018-19 financial year as a record.

Overall profits increased by $170m to $1.24bn over the 2018-19 financial year, with digitisation contributing heavily, said Thompson.

“News Corp completed Fiscal 2019 robustly, with revenues rising 12 percent and profitability 16 percent higher compared to the prior year, reflecting the consolidation of Foxtel, strength in digital real estate and substantial progress in the successful digital transformation of our news businesses,” he said.

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