News Corporation surged on Friday after reporting its December quarter financial results. Shares closed 13% higher on the news that the company achieved its most profitable quarter since the new News Corp was launched more than seven years ago, reflecting the ongoing digital transformation of the business. Results were extremely positive across several of the company’s business segments.
The Dow Jones business achieved its largest profits since the acquisition of the company in 2007, with segment EBITDA increasing 43% and traffic across the Dow Jones digital network surging 48%.
There was also a 77% rise in segment EBITDA in the Subscription Video Services business, where the exponential evolution at Foxtel continued apace, with streaming customers increasing over 90%, rights costs reset and audiences for summer sports at unprecedented levels.
Rapid expansion continued in the group’s real estate business, Move, which accounted for about 80% of segment EBITDA growth in the Digital Real Estate Services segment, while revenue grew 28% compared to a year earlier. Realtor.com’s traffic continues to grow with monthly average unique users 37% higher during the quarter compared to the prior year.
In the Book Publishing segment, HarperCollins’ revenues rose 23%, with double-digit growth across every category, and a 65% burgeoning of segment EBITDA. While history was also made at the New York Post, which reported its first profit in modern times – for what had been a chronic loss-making masthead founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton.
At a group level, the company reported:
Revenues were $2.41 billion, down 3%
Segment EBITDA was $497 million, up 40%
Net income of $261 million, up 153%