News Corporation unveils an "unparalleled" three months of worldwide growth.

In its fiscal first quarter (ended September), NewsCorp's operating profits surged 31% year-on-year to $719 million (€629.8m; £430.4m). Net profits jumped from $154m to $464m, as revenues surged 22% to $4.65 billion.

The group benefited from strong DVD sales at the Twentieth Century Fox movie studio, where operating profits more than trebled to $328m.

NewsCorp's newspaper division also put in a strong performance, with operating earnings jumping 79% to $102m. The unit was boosted by an end to the UK tabloid price war and an upturn in Australian ad revenues.

The TV unit did not perform so well, as lower ratings for the Fox US network pushed broadcast TV profits down slightly. However, the group's stateside cable channels reported a 13% jump in operating income, and there was a maiden Q1 profit from Asian arm Star TV.

Declared chairman Rupert Murdoch: "Overall, the first quarter has given us a great start to the fiscal year, and we are well on our way to meeting our growth forecast for 2004."

Auto group Nissan Motor reports steady figures for its fiscal first half (ended September).

Japan's number three carmaker, 44.4%-owned by French firm Renault, recorded a net profit of ¥237.7bn ($2.2bn; €1.9bn; £1.3bn), down 17% year-on-year (though in H1 2002 it benefited from the proceeds of a disposal).

Sales, buoyed by a strong performance in the US, rose 8.2% to ¥3.6 trillion, while operating profits surged 15% to ¥401.1bn.

The group expects global volume sales to increase by 9.7% to 3.04m vehicles in the twelve months ending March.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff