Revamped News lifts profit

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, formerly known as News Corp, has boosted its annual profit but warned the cost of launching its US TV sports networks and currency movements would affect earnings in the year ahead.

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, formerly known as News Corp, has boosted its annual profit but warned the cost of launching its US TV sports networks and currency movements would affect earnings in the year ahead.

The company's profit for the 2013 financial year was $US6.8 billion ($7.6 billion), more than double the earnings of the previous year.

The result was boosted by $US3.76 billion in gains on the company's purchase of TV assets Sky Deutschland and ESPN Star Sports, and the sale of its stake in NDS Group.

In June, Mr Murdoch's global media empire, News Corp, split its broadcast and publishing operations into separate companies.

The profitable pay TV, broadcast TV and film operations became 21st Century Fox, and the company's Australian, US and UK newspapers, book publishing arm and Australian pay TV business became new News Corp.

What is now the new News Corp was classified as discontinued operations in 21st Century Fox's accounts, and those operations made a profit of $US277 million in the year to June 30. The 21st Century Fox result was built on annual revenue of $US27.68 billion, up 10 per cent.

Mr Murdoch said that with the company split complete, 21st Century Fox "not only delivered strong earnings and revenue growth ... we also positioned ourselves for future success with strategic investments in our global channels businesses".

Chief financial officer of 21st Century Fox John Nallen said its growth in fiscal 2014 would be driven by the company's cable TV business, but its filmed entertainment business would "be down a touch".

"In 2014, our growth will be impacted by several strategic initiatives, most notably the launch of sport networks here in the US and Asia as well as the launch of [cable TV network] FXX," Mr Nallen said. "Additionally, we are expecting adverse currency effects to impact 2014 growth, principally from Latin American currencies and the Indian rupee."

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