News Corp profits double but company pays out for hacking

Feb 7, 2013

Murdoch’s quarterly profits up as it shells out £56m in costs relating to phone hacking scandal

NEWS CORP has seen its quarterly profits more than double thanks to a jump in revenue from its cable networks such as Fox but it had to spend $56m (£35.7m) on costs relating to the News of the World closure.

Net income for the last three months of 2012 came in at $2.38bn (£1.52bn), reports the BBC, with Rupert Murdoch saying the earnings reflect the company's "strong momentum". "The strategies we executed against in the quarter continue to bolster News Corporation's competitive position and enhance our ability to benefit from global demand for content, especially sports programming," he said.

News Corp - which also owns The Times, the Sunday Times and The Sun newspapers in Britain, Fox TV in America and the Wall Street Journal - closed the News of the World in 2011 in the wake of the phone hacking scandal. This year, it will split into two companies, one for publishing and the other for TV and film, partly as a result of shareholder concern over the damage allegations of illegal voicemail-hacking and bribery could cause the rest of the business . Although the company has spent millions and seen executives such as Rebekah Brooks resign and face trial during the fall-out from phone hacking, the costs represent just 2.4 per cent of New Corp profits in the three months to the end of December.

The profits announcement came as the company’s deputy chief operating officer James Murdoch shrugged off any threat to News Corp from cable TV company Liberty Global's acquisition of Virgin Media, saying: "Across Europe we compete as well as work with Liberty Global. I don't think there is really a big change to the landscape there. We're pretty pleased with momentum and pleased with the strategic position of the business," The company are planning to “stay the course” with their 39.1 per cent stake in BSkyB, the FT notes.

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