Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation held profits steady in its first six months since separating from TV and film giant Fox, despite a 10 per cent slide in sales at its flagship newspaper division.
US-listed News Corp blamed most of the weakness on currency differences in Australia and “continued decline” from “institutional” customers at Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones.
Former editor of the Daily Telegraph, Will Lewis, became interim chief executive of Dow Jones in a shake-up last month.
A 40p price rise for the Sun also gave a lift to the newspaper arm. But costs from the phone-hacking inquiry were $51 million (£31.2 million) in the quarter. Books arm Harper Collins enjoyed a 4 per cent sales rise in the Christmas quarter. E-books rose 39 per cent, defying talk of a slowdown.
Half-year adjusted profit was flat at $179 million. Group turnover fell 3 per cent to $4.3 billion.