Cost of hacking to Murdoch's empire so far: £239,000,000

 

Rupert Murdoch has run up losses of almost a quarter of a billion pounds from the closure of the News of the World, and costs from the hacking scandal are set to soar further.

Annual accounts for News Group Newspapers (NGN), which owns The Sun and the News of the World, showed that Mr Murdoch has taken a £239m financial hit and it could "be significantly higher" in future.

NGN spent £23.7m to cover legal costs associated with phone hacking and £55.5m in redundancy and restructuring after the closure of the Sunday newspaper in July 2011.

The firm has also taken a £160m write-off on the value of News of the World following its closure, though a spokesman pointed out this is an accounting "paper" loss and not a "cash" item.

NGN continues to face a string of legal and criminal investigations, including the Leveson Inquiry and multiple police inquiries into alleged corrupt payments by journalists at both the News of the World and The Sun. Some Wall Street analysts have estimated the final bill could be as high as $1bn.

The NGN accounts cover the financial year to 3 July, just before the closure of the News of the World, which meant it did not have to include all the costs of the subsequent hacking scandal.

NGN managed to increase pre-tax profits to £104m against £88.6m a year earlier. Turnover held steady at £653m.

Times Newspapers Limited (TNL), owner of The Times and The Sunday Times, also published separate accounts that showed it has sharply reduced pre-tax losses to £11.6m from £45m a year earlier.

TNL credited a rise in advertising revenues and the introduction of a pay wall for its websites and iPad apps for boosting turnover by more than £10m to £402m.

News International, the UK parent company of NGN and TNL, has always said that the UK newspapers are not for sale. But in a sign that a sale could be possible in future, the accounts for NGN said it bought the "publishing rights" of both The Sun and the News of the World for £720m from another News Corp subsidiary in June 2011. The company subsequently wrote off £160m associated with the News of the World after its closure, which means The Sun's publishing rights are worth £560m, according to the accounts.

However, it is likely that any would-be buyer would be expected to pay more for such a trophy asset, particularly as The Sun has launched a Sunday edition.

Mr Murdoch's deputy, chief operating officer Chase Carey, told US investors last month that "there is certainly an awareness" that News Corp would be worth more without the UK newspapers.

James Murdoch, who resigned as BSkyB chairman on Tuesday, remains under pressure. US shareholder group Christian Brothers Investment Services has called for him to quit the board of News Corp.

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world