Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. reported that its fiscal ’93 profit soared 57%, bolstered by strong showings from its TV, newspaper and magazine businesses, which more than offset the lackluster performance of its Hollywood studio, 20th Century Fox Film Corp.
The Australia-based media and entertainment behemoth posted net earnings of $ 605.2 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1993, up from $ 384.5 million last year. Revenues slid 4% to $ 7.48 billion. Those results were in line with analyst expectations.
On the film side, News Corp. said the strong box office performance of “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,””The Last of the Mohicans” and “Alien3” was offset by the poor performance of winter releases. It reported that full-year operating profit slid 59% to $ 35.6 million despite revenues bumping up 8% to about $ 1.8 billion.
Despite the setback, the company said Fox’s film slate is off to a good start in fiscal 1994 with “Rookie of the Year,””Rising Sun” and “Hot Shots! Part Deux.”
The company said Twentieth Television had a solid year in the U.S. syndication market, aided by the successful off-network syndication of “Cops.”
Record profits at Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox Television Stations and TV Guide were most responsible for a 10% increase in U.S. operating profits of about $ 730 million. The company said FBC benefited from increased advertising from additional nights, as well as from a modest firming of advertising pricing. The company said profits at all its stations were up year on year.
BSkyB rev up
On the international front, News Corp. reported that British Sky Broadcasting — its 50%-owned satellite broadcasting company — continued to make significant progress and achieved a full year of recorded weekly operating profits. Revenues grew by over 60% as a result of the continued growth in both premium movie and sports subscribers.
Advertising and circulation revenues remained flat at the company’s U.K. newspapers, but operating profits grew by 9% due to plant modernization.
Despite Australia’s prolonged economic downturn, each of the company’s newspaper divisions — metropolitan, regional and suburban — showed gains in revenues. Total operating income from newspaper operations was up 18% compared to a year ago.