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 SYDNEY, Australia, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The News Corporation

Limited (ADS - NYSE: NWS) today reported the following results for the six and three months ended Dec. 31, 1991:
 For the six months ended Dec. 31, 1991:
 -- Operating revenue down 8 percent;
 -- Operating profit before abnormal items excluding prior period foreign exchange gains up 78 percent;
 -- Profit after abnormal items up 38 percent;
 -- Earnings per share before abnormal items up 23 percent to 79 cents.
 For the three months ended Dec. 31, 1991:
 -- Operating revenue down 11 percent;
 -- Operating profit before abnormal items excluding prior period foreign exchange gains up 18 percent;
 -- Profit after abnormal items up 23 percent;
 -- Earnings per share before abnormal items down 17 percent to 43 cents.
 Consolidated Results (Unaudited)
 (Australian dollars in thousands except per share figures)
 Periods ended Three Months Six Months
 Dec. 31 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Revenues(A) $2,609,946 $2,941,671 $5,272,427 $5,723,892
 Operating income(A) 426,667 462,913 846,908 796,687
 Other inc. (expense):
 Dividends 4,555 15,673 10,971 32,253
 Associated companies
 profit (loss) (23,045) 13,803 (62,653) 13,959
 Interest expense
 (net) (241,746) (307,593) (497,256) (593,035)
 Operating profit before
 income tax expense
 and abnormal items(B) 166,431 184,796 297,970 249,864
 Income tax expense(C) 4,465 22,910 12,502 31,430
 Operating profit before
 minority interests
 and abnormal items 161,966 161,886 285,468 218,434
 Minority interests in
 subsidiary companies 17,266 4,572 33,315 35,260
 Operating profit before
 abnormal items 144,700 157,314 252,153 183,174
 Abnormal items (net)(D) 104,105 45,243 103,115 74,105
 Operating profit and
 abnormal items $ 248,805 $ 202,557 $ 355,268 $ 257,279
 Earnings per share:
 Operating profit
 before abnormal items $0.43 $0.52 $0.79 $0.64
 Abnormal items 0.31 0.14 0.31 0.23
 Operating profit and
 abnormal items $0.74 $0.66 $1.10 $0.87
 Periods ended Three Months Six Months
 Dec. 31 1991 1990 1991 1990
 (Australian dollars in thousands)
 (A) -- Supplementary
 Segment Information
 By Geographical Area
 United States $1,523,467 $1,744,250 $3,230,267 $3,309,322
 United Kingdom 519,867 614,421 966,059 1,216,172
 Australia and
 Pacific Basin 566,612 583,000 1,076,101 1,198,398
 Total $2,609,946 $2,941,671 $5,272,427 $5,723,892
 Operating income:
 United States $ 202,553 $ 309,519 $ 471,758 $ 571,537
 United Kingdom 112,554 58,341 173,889 39,283
 Australia and
 Pacific Basin 111,560 95,053 201,261 185,867
 Total $ 426,667 $ 462,913 $ 846,908 $ 796,687
 By Industry
 Newspapers $ 770,919 $ 814,830 $1,465,436 $1,565,571
 Magazines 235,041 335,254 470,611 656,429
 Television 311,365 361,509 617,091 714,127
 Filmed entertainment 562,801 636,903 1,185,568 1,036,562
 Book publishing 357,507 389,603 822,591 945,183
 Other 372,313 403,572 711,130 806,020
 Total $2,609,946 $2,941,671 $5,272,427 $5,723,892
 Operating income:
 Newspapers $ 163,922 $ 141,172 $ 286,825 $ 255,164
 Magazines 56,063 69,103 104,917 128,168
 Television 72,038 30,048 124,383 10,699
 Filmed entertainment 19,193 78,203 67,696 93,667
 Book publishing 54,973 58,648 156,665 160,400
 Other 60,478 85,739 106,422 148,589
 Total $ 426,667 $ 462,913 $ 846,908 $ 796,687
 Revenues and operating income for the periods ended Dec. 31, 1990, include, in the United States, nine consumer publications sold in June 1991 and foreign exchange trading gains, and in the United Kingdom, five months of operating losses of Sky Television.
 Periods ended Three Months Six Months
 Dec. 31 1991 1990 1991 1990
 (Australian dollars in thousands)
 (B) -- Included in operating
 profit before income tax
 for holding company &
 subsidiaries are:
 Int. on borrowings $253,606 $320,969 $523,891 $627,959
 Interest income 11,860 13,376 26,635 34,924
 Net interest expense 241,746 307,593 497,256 593,035
 Depreciation & amort. 57,131 66,803 115,218 152,735
 Foreign exchange
 trading gains -- 34,351 -- 41,297
 (C) -- Income tax expense
 comprises of:
 Holding & subsidiary
 companies $4,030 $15,601 $11,320 $23,118
 Associated companies 435 7,309 1,182 8,312
 Total $4,465 $22,910 $12,502 $31,430
 (D) -- Abnormal items
 (net of tax):
 Holding & subsidiary
 companies $133,170 $81,666 $116,737 $88,658
 Associated companies (29,065) (36,423) (13,622) (14,553)
 Total $104,105 $45,243 $103,115 $74,105
 Commentary Group Result
 The News Corporation today reported after-tax profits before abnormal items for the six months ended Dec. 31, 1991, of A$252.2 million (79 cents per share), an increase of 38 percent over the same period last year of A$183.2 million (64 cents per share). This result includes losses from equity accounted investments of A$62.7 million compared with a profit of $14 million a year ago, the majority of which were in Ansett Transport Industries and BSkyB.
 Profits increased despite a fall in revenue of 8 percent to A$5.3 billion from $5.7 billion. The fall in revenue was primarily due to the sale of businesses in the United States. Profit after abnormal items was A$355.3 million compared to the prior year's profit of $257.3 million. The performance is especially encouraging as last year's results included profits from nine U.S. consumer publications sold in June 1991, and foreign exchange gains of A$41.3 million.
 The increase in operating earnings for the six months reflects improved results from the group's television and free-standing insert operations in the United States, newspaper operations in the United Kingdom and Australia and lower interest expense. This increase is partially offset by lower earnings from Twentieth Century Fox Film, which had a disappointing six months.
 The abnormal gain after tax for the six months of A$103.1 million primarily resulted from the sale of the group's magazine and commercial printing businesses in Australia.
 Equity losses derive from Ansett Transport Industries in Australia, and BSkyB. BSkyB is showing very positive growth in new home dish installations as well as in subscriptions for the pay movie channels. BSkyB operations are expected to break even in March and make a profit in the last fiscal quarter.
 Ansett was involved in a long price war caused by airline deregulation, but its new competitor's subsequent collapse has seen the airline return to more stable conditions. Improved results are expected in the fourth quarter.
 During the first half, the group concluded a series of transactions to strengthen its capital structure. The transactions completed include the sale of most of the group's interest in Enquirer/Star for US$185 million, together with the issuance of the following securities: US$180 million of convertible preferred stock, US$404 million of ordinary shares, US$400 million of ten-year senior notes and a public issue of 55 percent of the group's interest in its Australian commercial printing and magazines operations raised US$500 million.
 The net proceeds of these transactions was US$1.5 billion. US$1.1 billion of the proceeds have been used to satisfy all periodic repayment required under the group's principal bank agreement to February 1994. Proceeds of US$264 million have also been set aside to repay public debt by June 1992. In addition the group extended US$3.26 billion of bank debt originally due in February 1994 for three years to February 1997.
 United States
 Profits and revenues for the period were affected by the sale of the nine consumer publications sold in June 1991.
 Profits from television operations increased over last year's levels despite the overall weakness in the advertising markets. For the first quarter of the television season ending in December, Fox Broadcasting Company (FBC) remained the number one television service in the key demographic categories sought by advertisers: adults aged 18-34, all persons 12-34 and teenagers, for the time periods it is on the air. In addition, FBC increased the number of households it reached by 26 percent to a 7.8 rating compared to 6.2 a year earlier.
 Fox Television Stations, the group's seven owned and operated stations, enjoyed higher profits in an extremely difficult market.
 Twentieth Century Film had a poor result, mainly affected by the poor performance of two expensive films. The ultimate loss on these two films is included in the current results.
 TV Guide and the group's newspaper insert division both performed strongly.
 United Kingdom
 Operating profit in the United Kingdom continued to show some improvement over a year ago due to better margins at the company's five newspapers arising from cost reductions and a full second quarter's benefit of cover price increases. Efficiencies from new printing facilities also contributed to the gains.
 Operating profits in Australia were better than compared to a year ago despite difficult economic conditions and a reduction in revenues. Cost reduction and consolidation of newspapers in Sydney and Melbourne also aided results.
 Hong Kong
 The South China Morning Post is trading slightly ahead of last year's record results. In January it purchased a small Chinese language daily and plans to develop it into a major alternative advertising medium.
 BSkyB showed strong growth in total homes reached by the six-channel service and for pay movie subscribers during the period.
 Total homes reached in the United Kingdom at the end of December was 2.8 million, compared to 1.8 million a year earlier. Nearly 70 percent of all new subscribers have elected to receive both pay movie services. Viewing share for subscribers to all six Sky channels reached 30 percent, according to results from an independent research firm.
 The BSkyB venture is expected to turn the corner during March and to continue to be profitable from that time forward - well ahead of the company's own original projections.
 The company has declared an unchanged interim dividend of 5 cents per share (unfranked) payable on April 30, 1992. Books close at 5 p.m. on April 13, 1992. Shareholders who have lodged election notices will receive additional News Corporation shares in lieu of cash.
 -0- 2/12/92
 /CONTACT: Peter Rosenthal or Martha Cid of Howard J. Rubenstein Associates, 212-489-6900, for News Corporation/
 (NWS) CO: The News Corporation Limited ST: IN: PUB ENT SU: ERN DIV

GK-TS -- NY018 -- 9156 02/12/92 10:36 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Feb 12, 1992

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