News Corporation profits rise 10%

LONDON - News International parent company News Corporation has announced an increase of 10% in fourth quarter profit, despite UK newspaper ad and circulation revenue falling.

Improved sales from News Corp's Fox News Channel, more new subscribers to its Sky Italia TV service and a general improvement in advertising sales helped group sales increase 8.6% to $7.37bn for the three month to June 30.

Speaking as the group unveiled income before tax up from $1.12bn in the same quarter last year to $1.24bn this quarter, and up 20% to $5.31bn for the year.

News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch also told analysts he was likely to sell off Dow Jones's local US newspapers after it bought the business earlier this month. Dow Jones's other divisions, including the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires and the Factiva online news archive, will be retained.

Its UK newspaper group, which includes The Sun, News of the World and thelondonpaper, reported operating income growth in local currency terms. Although, advertising and circulation revenues declined in the UK, it said this was more than offset by lower promotional and employee costs.

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