NEW YORK (AFP) – Rupert Murdoch’s media-entertainment giant 21st Century Fox reported Wednesday a surge in profits over the past quarter, helped by asset sales and strong cable television and film results.
Net earnings in the three months through December jumped to $6.2 billion, including $5 billion from the sale of stakes in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia to British Sky Broadcasting Group
Excluding special items, the profit amounted to 53 cents a share, or 11 cents better than the consensus Wall Street forecast.
Revenues for the period dipped 1.3 per cent to $8.1 billion, but were ahead of most estimates.
The results lifted Fox shares some three per cent in after-hours trade to $35.72.
“We delivered solid quarterly results despite continuing currency headwinds and ratings challenges at the Fox broadcast network,” Murdoch, who is chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
“Our growth was led by sustained affiliate revenue growth in our channels business. I am also very proud of the creative successes that we have achieved at Twentieth Century Fox, which set a global box office record in 2014 and leads the industry with 24 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture nominations for ‘Birdman’ and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel.’”
Revenues for cable network programming rose 14 per cent from a year earlier to $3.4 billion, and the filmed entertainment segment boosted revenue 11 per cent to $2.8 billion.