21st Century Fox profits fall as advertising dips

21st Century Fox profits fall as advertising dips

Profits at 21st Century Fox dipped in the first three months of the year, weighed down by flat cable advertising and less successful movie releases.

The Rupert Murdoch-controlled firm said profits fell 5% to $799m compared with the same period last year.

Revenues increased almost 5% to $7.56bn, helped by demand for advertising during the Superbowl championship.

Fox remained confident that its bid to take full control of Sky would succeed.

Lachlan and Rupert Murdoch said in a statement: “We remain confident the proposed transaction will be approved by the end of the calendar year following a thorough review process.”

21st Century Fox already owns about 39% of Sky and its £11.6bn bid to take over the firm entirely is under review by UK regulators. European regulators have already signed off on the deal.

Allegations of sexual harassment have led to a series of departures from Fox News, including its highest-rating presenter, Bill O’Reilly, and chairman Roger Ailes.

Concerns about conduct at Fox News were recently raised as part of the UK review of its Sky bid.

Dozens of advertisers abandoned Fox News due to the controversies, but the company attributed the lack of growth to its National Geographic brand.

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Loss of cricket broadcasts in India also pinched profits.

Investors had been warned that growth would slow, but shares still fell more than 4% in after-hours trading in New York.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which was spun out of 21st Century Fox in 2013, is the parent company for major newspapers in the UK, Australia and the US, including The Sun, The Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Source: BBC News

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