News Corp on Tuesday reported a surge in profits from a year ago to $2.2 billion, lifted by strong result from cable TV and film operations as well as a large one-time asset sale.
Rupert Murdoch said his media-entertainment empire's results were pumped up by "operational discipline and focus on innovation" which helped "double-digit growth in our channels business and the global success of our film and television content."
The profit for the first fiscal quarter tripled from $738 million a year earlier, but a large part of that came from the sale of NDS, which makes software for pay television, giving News Corp. a gain of $1.38 billion.
Still, the profit excluding special items amounted to 43 cents a share, five cents better than Wall Street estimates.
Total revenue for the three months to September 30 rose two percent to $8.14 billion. Revenue gains were paced by 16 percent growth at the company's cable network programming division.
Cable accounted for $953 million in operating profits, up sharply from a year ago, and operating income was up at the filmed entertainment unit which includes the Fox studios, and in broadcast television.
"Even against considerable currency headwinds due to a stronger dollar, we were able to increase News Corp's revenue and adjusted segment operating profit over the prior year quarter while continuing to make key investments to position us for future growth," Murdoch said in announcing the results.
Murdoch said the company had made "considerable progress" toward his announced aim of splitting into two separate units.