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Thursday, October 28, 1999 Published at 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK

Business: The Company File

Murdoch sees profits fall

Titanic's success proved a hard act to follow

Rupert Murdoch's media group News Corporation has seen its earning fall sharply, hit by fall in profits at its 20th Century Fox film division.

Operating income for the three months to September was $395m, compared with $407m in the same period last year.

Profits were down to $165m, from $196.

News Corporation said the fall was largely due to a fall off in profits for its 20th Century Fox film division, which had an exceptional year in 1998, including the video release of international hit Titanic.

Murdoch pleased

Mr Murdoch said: "Every one of our established businesses showed double-digit growth in the quarter, with the exception of Filmed Entertainment, which suffered from a difficult comparison to last year's extraordinary success."

He said he was "pleased" with the quarter's results.

News Corporation said its film business earned $46m in the quarter, compared with $123m the year before.

Total revenues for the quarter fell to $3.15bn from $3.19bn.

The company said earnings were also hurt because it did not have the profit contribution from TV Guide, which it sold in March. Earnings were also lower at its BSkyB cable TV operation.

However, Mr Murdoch said News Corporation was encouraged by increased subscriber and revenue growth for its satellite operations in Latin America and Asia.

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