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 SYDNEY, Australia, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by The News Corporation Limited (NYSE: NWS):
 -- Net operating profit before abnormal items increased by 21 percent to A$262.3 million from A$216.1 million.
 -- Acquisition of a 63.6 percent holding in Star TV in Hong Kong in August.
 -- The sale of a 34.9 percent interest in The South China Morning Post for US$349 million in October 1993.
 -- BSkyB pay subscribers up 600,000 since June to over 3.0 million aided by the launch of Sky Multi-Channels on Sept. 1, 1993.
 Commentary Group Result
 The News Corporation Limited today reported after tax profits before abnormal items for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993 of A$262.3 million (A$0.14 per share), an increase of 21 percent compared to the same period a year ago. (A$216.1 million and A$0.13 per share).
 Revenues increased 7 percent to A$2.8 billion from A$2.6 billion a year ago. Profit after abnormal items was A$246.0 million versus A$193.7 million, an increase of 27 percent. The abnormal loss of A$16.3 million is primarily due to unrealized foreign exchange losses on U.S. dollar borrowings at Ansett.
 Profits from associated companies were up over 104 percent to A$73.9 million. BSkyB and Ansett Airlines showed significant improvements in profitability with all other associated companies showing gains as well.
 Operating income declined by 5 percent due to reduced earnings at the Free Standing Inserts division (FSI), where competitive pricing pressures continue, and from U.K. newspapers as a result of the lower cover prices at The Sun and The Times. Filmed entertainment showed a sizable jump, more than doubling last year's result, led by a solid summer release schedule, combined with the release of "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" on video.
 Interest expense declined to A$173.6 million from A$206.2 million a year ago reflecting lower debt levels.
 During the quarter the company further strengthened its balance sheet with the issue of 8-518 percent preference shares raising US$250 million and the issue of 25 million converting preference shares raising A$500 million. The majority of this latter offering was used to fund the acquisition of STAR TV discussed below. Also during the quarter, the company issued US$250 million of 8-1/4 percent senior debentures due 2018.
 In August, the company acquired a 63.6 percent holding in the Star Television group of companies (STAR TV) in Hong Kong from Hutchison Whampoa Limited and the Li Ka-shing family for US$525 million. Star TV, the leading satellite broadcaster in the region, operates a total of six channels and is seen by 18 million homes across Asia. The acquisition of STAR TV was funded with the issue of ordinary shares and proceeds from the converting preference share issue.
 In September, the company announced the sale of a 34.9 percent interest in The South China Morning Post to Robert Kuok and the Kerry Group of Hong Kong for US$349 million. The transaction closed on Oct. 4 and proceeds were used to reduce bank debt.
 United States
 In filmed entertainment, operating profits grew 150 percent year on year as a result of the successful performance of "Rookie of the Year," "Robin Hood -- Men in Tights" and "Rising Sun. In addition, "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" was released in video with over 7 million units shipped to date. The company's fall release schedule of "The Good Son" and "The Beverly Hillbillies" is performing well.
 Results for the company's magazine and insert operations were off 32 percent compared to year ago. The FSI division reported lower earnings due to a decline in ad rates, while TV Guide continued to improve its results with operating profit up almost 10 percent.
 In television, the Fox Station Group also continued to show improved results. Seven of the company's eight stations exceeded plan, with the Los Angeles station trailing due to very soft conditions in the advertising market. FBC's results were off from last year but were in line with budget, as the rollout to seven nights and increased promotion related to the full fall schedule were expected to weaken results in the first quarter. At fX, the Fox cable channel, agreements with 27 cable operators have been signed, representing 40 percent of the U.S. cable market.
 While worldwide operating profits at HarperCollins were off year on year, primarily due to reduced earnings in the U.K. performance remains on budget. Recent releases in the trade sector have had a strong reception. Michael Jordan's autobiography, "Rare Air," with an initial release of over 350,000 units in October, has benefited greatly from the superstar's recently announced retirement. Also in October, HarperCollins launched Margaret Thatcher's autobiography, "The Downing Street Years," amid intense publicity and interest.
 United Kingdom
 Newspaper profits in the U.K. were off 15 percent year on year principally due to a reduction in revenues resulting from a continued 5-pence cover price cut at The Sun. This price reduction contributed to an increase in circulation of an average of 250,000 copies per day and thus widened The Sun's lead over its nearest competitor by over one million copies.
 In September, the cover price of The Times was reduced by 15-pence. The result of this reduction has been dramatic with The Times adding an average of almost 100,000 readers per day. September audited figures show circulation at over 440,000 copies, the highest figure since 1985.
 Australia and Pacific Basin
 Newspaper earnings in both Australia and Hong Kong improved during the quarter. In Australia, display advertising continues to be weak nationwide with classifieds showing signs of improvement.
 Further expanding its television interest the company acquired a 15 percent interest in the Seven Network. Seven is one of Australia's leading television broadcasters and programmers, reaching approximately 93 percent of Australians.
 Equity Investments
 BSkyB (Sky), the company's 50 percent owned U.K. satellite broadcaster, continues to post record profits. Since July, Sky has increased weekly operating profits by 30 percent. The launch of Sky Multi-Channels on Sept. 1 has helped boost the total number of paying subscribers to over 3.0 million, an increase of 600,000 since June. Sky now offers British viewers 16 channels of programming. Given this wide array of programming choices, over 65 percent of subscribers now take at least two premium services improving the revenue per subscriber ratio.
 Ansett Transport Industries, benefiting from its continuing cost reduction program and higher load factors, posted a substantial gain in operating profits for the period. In September, Ansett began its international service with flights to Bali from Melbourne, Sydney, Darwin and Perth.
 Profits from associated companies also reflects improved results at the company's 45 percent interest in Pacific Magazines & Printing Limited and 50 percent holding in Independent Newspapers Limited.
 Unaudited Consolidated Results
 A$ Million
 Three months ended Sept. 30, 1993 1992
 Operating revenue A 2,784.0 2,593.3
 Operating income A 412.2 432.5
 Other income (expense)
 Dividends 6.5 4.2
 Assoc. companies profit 73.9 36.1
 Interest expense (net) (173.6) (206.2)
 Total (93.2) (165.9)
 Operating income before tax
 expense and abnormal items 319.0 266.6
 Income tax expense 39.1 30.8
 Operating profit after income
 tax before abnormal items 279.9 235.8
 Outside equity interests in
 operating profit before
 abnormal items 17.6 19.7
 Operating profit after outside
 equity interests, before
 abnormal items 262.3 216.1
 Abnormal items (net)
 Parent entity and controlled
 Associated companies (16.3) (22.4)
 Total (16.3) (22.4)
 Operating profit after income
 tax attributable to members
 of the parent entity 246.0 193.7
 Earnings per share
 On operating profit after
 outside equity interests,
 before abnormal items $0.14 $0.13
 Abnormal items ($0.01) ($0.01)
 On operating profit and
 abnormal items $0.13 $0.12
 Unaudited Consolidated Results
 Three Months Ended Sept. 30, 1993
 (A$ millions)
 Balance Sheet Sept. 30, 1993 June 30, 1993
 Current assets
 Cash 438.1 658.5
 Receivables 2,365.0 1,984.3
 Inventories 1,016.1 971.9
 Other 216.3 180.2
 Total current assets 4,035.5 3,794.9
 Non-current assets
 Receivables 422.6 364.3
 Investments 3,373.7 3,268.1
 Inventories 1,855.0 1,750.1
 Property, plant and equipment 3,903.3 3,691.1
 Publishing rights, titles and
 television licenses 14,475.8 13,316.9
 Goodwill 532.9 527.0
 Other 574.4 559.1
 Total non-current assets 25,137.7 23,477.3
 Total assets 29,173.7 27,272.2
 Current liabilities
 Borrowings 14.0 17.8
 Creditors 3,163.9 2,992.7
 Provisions 282.9 252.1
 Total current liabilities 3,460.8 3,262.6
 Non-current liabilities
 Borrowings 9,968.1 10,162.0
 Creditors 906.9 864.3
 Provisions 191.6 208.8
 Total non-current liabilities 11,066.6 11,235.1
 Total liabilities 14,527.4 14,497.7
 Net assets 14,645.8 12,774.5
 Shareholder's equity
 Share capital 1,382.9 959.3
 Reserves 8,126.4 6,933.9
 Retained profits 4,424.4 4,204.9
 Shareholders' equity attributable
 to members of the parent entity 13,933.7 12,098.1
 Outside equity interest in
 controlled entities 712.1 676.4
 Total shareholders' equity 14,645.8 12,774.5
 Earnings Summary
 For The Three Months Ended Sept. 30, 1993
 (In Millions)
 Australian Dollars United States Dollars
 per per per per
 1993 Share 1992 Share 1993 ADR 1992 ADR
 Revenues 2,784.0 2,593.3 1,857.5 1,890.8
 profit 412.2 432.5 275.0 315.3
 Income before
 items 262.3 $.14 216.1 $.13 175.0 $.75 157.5 $.79
 items (16.3) (.01) (22.4) (.01) (10.9) (.05) (16.3) (.09)
 Net income
 and abnormal
 items 246.0 $.13 193.7 $.12 164.1 $.70 141.2 $.70
 The earnings summary in U.S. dollars includes revenues and income of U.S. operations in actual U.S. dollars. Revenues and income of Australian and United Kingdom operations have been converted at the average exchange rates for each period. The U.S. operations in 1993 accounted for 69 percent and 60 percent of consolidated revenues and operating profit respectively. Revenues and operating profit of the United Kingdom represent 17 percent and 18 percent respectively and the Australian and Pacific Basin operations represent 14 percent and 22 percent respectively.
 (A$ million)
 Note A
 Three Months Ended Sept. 30, 1993 1992
 By Geographic Area
 United States 1,930.8 1,684.7
 United Kingdom 471.1 546.0
 Australia and Pacific Basin 382.1 362.6
 2,784.0 2,593.3
 Operating Income
 United States 248.7 246.2
 United Kingdom 74.9 109.6
 Australia and Pacific Basin 88.6 76.7
 412.2 432.5
 By Industry Segment
 Newspapers 729.2 799.4
 Magazines and inserts 387.2 378.7
 Television 442.9 370.0
 Filmed entertainment 692.7 540.0
 Book publishing 459.9 449.5
 Other 72.1 55.7
 2,784.0 2,593.3
 Operating income
 Newspapers 149.8 164.3
 Magazines and inserts 70.4 96.1
 Television 73.4 72.9
 Filmed entertainment 42.5 15.8
 Book publishing 75.9 82.0
 Other 0.2 1.4
 Consolidated operating income 412.2 432.5
 -0- 11/9/93
 /CONTACT: Marcia Horowitz of Howard Rubenstein and Assoc., 212-489-6900/

CO: The News Corporation Limited ST: Australia IN: PUB SU: ERN

LD -- NY135 -- 2523 11/09/93 20:33 EST
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Date:Nov 9, 1993

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