News Corporation returned to profit in its fiscal first half-year, thanks to an upsurge in advertising, a strong performance by its US cable channels, and robust sales of DVDs.

In the period July-December 2002, revenues rose by 13% to $8.5 billion (€7.88bn; £5.25bn) and operating profits soared nearly 50% to $1.3bn. Net profits were $401 million, compared with a $533m loss in the same period last fiscal, due partially to the failures of Kirch and Gemstar and a charge related to sporting rights.

As to NewsCorp’s possible acquisition of US satellite TV giant DirecTV, president and chief operating officer Peter Chernin echoed His Master’s Voice [WAMN: 12-Feb-03], insisting that the group will eschew a bidding battle. “We have been down this path before and we know what these businesses are worth,” he said.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff