Profits slide at News Corp

RUPERT Murdoch’s News Corp revealed a 24 per cent fall in profits last night, weighed down by weakness at its film and publishing units.

The media conglomerate saw third-quarter operating income drop to $1bn (£605m), down from $1.25bn a year earlier.

A legal charge for $125m hit its publishing division, while faltering advertising revenues at British and Australian newspapers also hit the company.

Revenues in the publishing unit, which produces the News of the World and the Times, fell to $36m. Earnings across the group dropped six per cent to $8.26bn.

News Corp said the quarter compares with a year ago when it benefited from the blockbuster success of record-breaking Hollywood film Avatar.

Murdoch said he expected News Corp’s film unit to provide profit growth in future.

The firm is also in the process of assessing offers for its struggling entertainment site Myspace, a one-time pioneer of social networking which has long fallen far behind Facebook. It added that Myspace’s division lost $165m in the quarter.