News Corp reports mixed results as news struggles, but new digital real estate services grow
News Corp today reported its first quarter earnings for fiscal 2016. Results were mixed as the News and Information side of the business saw revenue decline 11 percent in the quarter. This was partially offset by both Book Publishing (up 1 percent) and Digital Real Estate Services (up 11 percent).
Income from continuing operations was $143 million as compared to $109 million in the prior year due to a tax benefit.
News Corp said its weakness in News and Information was caused by weak print advertising market, especially in Australia, and lower revenues at News America Marketing, its in-store advertising division. The company also said currency fluctuations hurt its results.
Book publishing was up slightly in the quarter as the popularity of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee and the inclusion of the results from last year’s acquisition of Harlequin, was partially offset by lower revenues from the Divergent series and lower eBook sales.
Digital Real Estate services saw revenue grow 11 percent due to the inclusion of the results from Move, which the company acquired in November 2014. Move is a leading provider of online real estate services and operates a network of sites, including realtor.com.
“News Corp is on track in its transition to a more digital and global future, having successfully integrated several recent acquisitions and built a powerful platform for future growth,” Chief Executive Robert Thomson said. “We are focused on driving sustainable expansion of revenue and profit, and leveraging the potency of our brands, while diligently controlling costs to maximize long-term returns for all investors.”
“We are particularly pleased with the momentum at realtor.com®, which is significantly ahead of schedule on key metrics. We are now, by some reckoning, the world’s largest digital property listings company and we see a particularly bright future in the sector, especially in the U.S. where we believe the national real estate market is still returning to health.”