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News Corp reports rise in profits


News Corporation has reported a strong rise in quarterly profits despite continuing legal charges over the phone-hacking scandal.

The firm's net income rose to more than one billion dollars (£621m) for the three months to March, compared with 682 million dollars (£423.6m) for the same period last year.

But the company revealed costs of 63 million dollars (£39.1m) for "ongoing investigations initiated upon the closure of The News of the World" in its third quarter fiscal results.

Commenting on the results, News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch said the firm was "better situated than ever".

He said: "Once again News Corporation showed strong operational momentum in the quarter, driven by significant growth at our Cable Network Programming and Filmed Entertainment segments.

"I believe we are better situated than ever to capitalise on the increasing global demand for our superior content.

"Beyond the ongoing growth of our core businesses, I am very pleased with the company's progress as we execute upon other elements of our strategy to produce sustained, meaningful value for shareholders."

News Corp's board recently declared full confidence in Mr Murdoch after a report by a committee of MPs claimed the media mogul was "not a fit person" to run an international company.

In a contentious amendment to the report by the Commons Culture Committee investigating the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, News Corp was censured for its "lack of effective corporate governance".

The company, which owns the Fox television networks, 20th Century Fox film studio, as well as newspapers in the US, UK and Australia, showed a 2 per cent rise in revenue to 8.4 billion dollars in its fiscal third-quarter results

It also revealed it was doubling its share buyback programme to 10 billion dollars.

Operating income at its cable networks increased by 15 per cent to 846 million dollars, with large growth seen in the US, Latin America and Asia.