Print advertising made a difference for News Corp’s loss-making third quarter, with “good tailwinds” in Australia helping stave off a worse result.
The company reported a five per cent drop in advertising revenues (by US$11 million) on last year, “primarily due to a US$15 million, or seven per cent, negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations, lower digital advertising at News Corp Australia, and lower print advertising at News UK”.
Against that, digital advertising rose at News UK, as did print advertising in Australia.
Chief financial officer Susan Panuccio told an analyst briefing the jump in print advertising was largely due to travel advertising. “Down in Australia, they’ve seen a pickup in travel advertising, which has really helped down there as the market has started to open up.
“They do get some good tailwinds through retail, in different quarters as well,” she said.
With currency fluctuations accounted, News Corp Australia reported a one per cent increase in revenue. Digital revenues represented a higher proportion of the news media segment’s revenue at 36 per cent, up one per cent from the previous period. Digital subscribers there rose ten per cent to 1,043,000.
Chief executive Robert Thomson said the results demonstrated the “fundamental differences” in the character of News Corp compared with other media companies. “In a period in which advertising was clearly insipid in certain parts of the world, our core non-advertising revenue has been particularly robust, highlighted by a 38 per cent increase in revenues at the Dow Jones professional information business.”
Thomson said that while News Corp had performed well, it had been forced into cost-cutting measures including cutting 200 jobs in Australia and cutting staff perks. He said a company-wide cost-cutting programme had begun to gain traction. A “difficult but necessary” step was reducing headcount by five per cent, now expected to yield at least US$160 million in annualised savings by the end of this calendar year.”
Pictured: Cruise company Viking was the solus advertiser supporting News’ 16-page Sunday Australian coronation special