News Corp. reported Wednesday a strong gain in quarterly profits, boosted by its Hollywood entertainment unit and cable television operations in the United States, Asia and Latin America.
The conglomerate controlled by magnate Rupert Murdoch said its profit in the fiscal third quarter ended March 31 was up 47 percent to $937 million, beating most analyst forecasts, as revenues rose two percent to $8.4 billion.
The profit amounted to 37 cents a share, better than the Wall Street consensus of 31 cents per share.
"Once again News Corporation showed strong operational momentum in the quarter, driven by significant growth at our cable network programming and filmed entertainment segments," Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
"With our disciplined approach to monetizing our brands, I believe we are better situated than ever to capitalize on the increasing global demand for our superior content."
The results include a $63 million charge related to the costs of the ongoing investigations in a phone hacking scandal in Britain linked to The News of the World, which was shut down after revelations of its activities.
News Corp., which owns the Fox television networks and 20th Century Fox movie studio in addition to newspapers in Australia, Britain and the United States, reported gains in most of its units excluding broadcast television, which did not air the Super Bowl this year and saw declines in the "American Idol" show.
Cable operations generated $846 million in operating income, a 15 percent jump from a year ago, led by US sports channels and growth in Latin America and Asia.
The entertainment unit showed operating income up nearly 10 percent at $272 million, boosted by the latest "Alvin and the Chipmunks" film and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," released for home users, as well as key TV shows.
The publishing unit accounted for operating earnings of $130 million, a sharp increase from a year ago when News Corp. took a $125 million litigation settlement charge.
But the company said revenues were hurt by advertising declines at the Australian and British newspapers, as well as the closing of The News of the World, offset in part by "improved contributions" from Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal, and its HarperCollins book division.