News Corporation enjoyed a “significant improvement” in its fourth fiscal quarter, according to chairman Rupert Murdoch – although the mogul is “frustrated” with the group’s underperformance on the stock markets.
The “significant improvement” equates in the real world to a loss of $1.71 billion (€1.75bn; £1.1bn) attributable to NewsCorp’s writedown of its stake in Gemstar TV following a dive in the latter’s share price.
Commented Murdoch: “Although this obviously came as a great disappointment, it represents no change in our fundamental belief in the future growth of this asset.”
Other ‘fundamental beliefs’ that resulted in massive writedowns earlier this year were KirchMedia and Italian pay TV company Stream, bringing the total written-off to date to an eye-watering $6.39bn (€6,53bn; £4.1bn).
As to NewsCorp’s stock valuation, Murdoch hopes that the recent resurgence in the advertising market may lead to a rebound in the year ahead: “This fiscal strength will be all the more advantageous should our advertising markets, which have demonstrated a significant improvement over the past several weeks, continue their return to health.”
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff