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News Corp. revs up 9%

Bouyed by “Mrs. Doubtfire” and other film and television successes, revenues for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. rose 9% to $ A5.8 billion ($ 4.2 billion) in the half-year to Dec. 31.

The gain resulted in a $ 549.8 million jump (70%) in operating profit after tax and abnormal items over fiscal 1992-93.

This produced a net profit of $ 446.8 million, up 28% from $ 328.4 million the year before. A reduction of debt levels dropped the interest charges 11% to $ 246 million.

The financial report to the Australian Stock Exchange said “results were favorably impacted by a more than doubling of earnings in filmed entertainment combined with strong gains in TV.”

The performance of 20th Century Fox product such as “Mrs. Doubtfire” contributed to a 183% jump in profits for the studio.

Likewise, Fox Television generated record figures with operating margins now at 44%.

The company’s earnings per share rose 13% to 24 cents and it will pay an interim dividend of 10 cents.

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