Speaking Tuesday in Adelaide, Australia, Rupert Murdoch saw no reason to change News Corporation’s forecast for its current year to June 30 2003 – “at this stage”.

Murdoch, astute as ever, left himself acres of room in which to maneuver, predicting an increase in earnings before tax and interest of between 16%-24%. Last year the company – the globe’s fifth largest media organization, headquartered in New York but founded in Australia – posted the largest corporate loss ever recorded in that country.

“We’re not changing our guidance at this stage,” Murdoch told NewsCorp’s annual meeting. Although ad sales had been stronger during the first half, he found this difficult to project across the next six months: “The visibility doesn't extend to the second half of the year.”

The group’s TV units aim to lessen their dependence on advertising revenues by focusing on the development of pay-TV and reversing a 42% fall in its share price this year. Much is expected of NewCorp’s Asian venture Star TV which is forecast to be “moderately profitable'” this year.

Data sourced from: Bloomberg.com; additional content by WARC staff