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News Corp revenues grow 10% as picture improves

LONDON - News Corporation has reported a net loss of $433m (£246.8m) for the July to September quarter. A one-off charge of $1bn obscured improvements in financial performance, as revenues climbed 10% year on year.

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A change in accounting rules caused the $1bn reduction in the value of the company's US television stations' licences.

Quarterly revenue grew from $5.15bn to $5.68bn year on year, with all divisions increasing their financial contribution.

Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO, said: "This was our 15th consecutive quarter reporting year-on-year operating income and revenue growth, and we delivered strong gains across nearly all of our operating segments."

The strongest performance came from the company's movie studios, including hits such as 'Robots' and 'Hide & Seek', and cable networks. Its expanding Sky Italia business reduced its losses by half, from $121m to $60m.

UK newspapers saw an operating income decline, partly due to lower advertising revenues and increased costs from the Times' format conversion. However, the Australian newspapers drove the division's overall contribution higher year on year.

Murdoch said that more internet acquisitions could follow the addition of Intermix Media and IGN Entertainment, and admitted the company was in talks with a small internet video search company, previously reported to be Blinkx.

He also commented that he did not see any imminent resolution regarding the 18% stake in News Corp held by rival businessman John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media.

The results were better than analysts had expected and the company's shares rose 1% to $15.40 in after-hours trading.

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