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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 February 2006, 23:01 GMT
UK sale boosts News Corp profits
Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation chairman
Rupert Murdoch was pleased with growth in TV profits
The sale of leading education titles in the UK has helped boost profits at Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

The US media company saw pre-tax profits rise to $1.08bn (620m; 900m euros) in the second quarter from $386m in the corresponding period last year.

The sale of the Times Educational Supplement (TES) in October resulted in a one-off financial gain of $381m.

Elsewhere, lower returns from its newspaper and movie businesses were offset by higher profits from TV.

Mixed performances

Excluding exceptional items such as the TES sale, News Corp recorded profits of $694m, above market expectations.

Total sales for the period rose 1.5% to $6.7bn, as the company's various businesses reported mixed performances.

Our performance this quarter reflects the sustained momentum we have generated across the majority of our businesses
Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation chairman
Income from newspaper publishing fell 63%, partly due to a weak advertising market and sizeable investment in new printing presses for British papers such as The Sun and The Times.

The 20th Century Fox movie studio also disappointed, reporting profits down 27% from the equivalent period in 2005.

It was unable to repeat the success of hit movies such as I, Robot and Day After Tomorrow which achieved huge sales on DVD in 2004.

However, profits from TV broadcasting rose 20% on higher ratings for the Fox Network while profits from cable networks rose 15% as ad revenue at the Fox News Channel rose strongly.

Momentum

"Our performance this quarter reflects the sustained momentum we have generated across the majority of our businesses," Mr Murdoch, the company's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

"We translated the desirable audiences we deliver for advertisers into double-digit earnings gains at our television and cable network programming segments."

News Corp moved its corporate headquarters from Australia to the United States last year.


SEE ALSO:
Business overtaxed, Murdoch says
23 Jan 06 |  Business
News International buys website
02 Nov 05 |  Business
Murdoch sells Times Educational
03 Oct 05 |  Business
News Corp buys internet firm IGN
08 Sep 05 |  Business
News Corp's quarterly profits dip
05 May 05 |  Business


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