News Corp Says Foreign Exchange, Lower Book Sales on Amazon Weigh on Results

News Company NWSA 2.21%

posted slightly lower earnings in the latest quarter as foreign currency fluctuations and a decline in its book publishing division more than offset continued growth at Wall Street Journal parent Dow Jones & Co.

The New York-based media company, which owns The Journal, HarperCollins Publishers and news agencies in the UK and Australia, reported revenue of $2.48 billion, down 1% from the previous period. Net profit fell 80 percent to $40 million, or 7 cents a share, from $196 million, or 33 cents a share, a year earlier.

“While the overall environment is more volatile, the results demonstrate the resilience of News Corp,” Chief Executive Robert Thomson said.

News Corp said Amazon’s decision.

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com inc. to reduce inventory levels and closed warehouses accounted for nearly 11 percent of the reduction in revenue at its book publishing division, HarperCollins. The change resulted in lower sales of books from Amazon, the company said.

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The company said it expects the impact from Amazon to be short-lived.

The only News Corp division to report revenue growth in the quarter was Dow Jones, publisher of the Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch, which posted a 16% increase in revenue to $515 million and a 19% increase in revenue to $113 million.

News Corp calculates segment earnings as earnings less operating and administrative expenses. Segment income excludes expenses such as interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, damage and repair costs and other items.

The magazine averaged more than 3.157 million digital subscriptions during the period, an increase of 62,000 from the previous quarter. Including the print edition, the Journal had an estimated 3.778 million subscribers during the period. Total average subscriptions for Dow Jones consumer products reached 4.922 million, the company said.

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The company said it recently began rolling out more packages to Dow Jones users that include more Dow Jones products. “There is no doubt you will see over the next six months the benefit of those envelopes Dow Jones has started to market,” Mr. Thomson said.

Despite the success in digital advertising, the company said it expects the second quarter to be more challenging, citing a difficult comparison to previous quarters.

News Corp’s other news publications, which include the New York Post, The Sun and Times in the UK and many newspapers in Australia, reported a 4% drop in revenue, and a 47% drop in revenue.

The company’s digital real estate services division reported a 1.2% decline in revenue, and segment revenue was down 14%. News Corp has a majority stake in REA Group Ltd.

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a publicly traded digital real estate company, as well as an 80% stake in Move Inc., an online real estate business based in Santa Clara, Calif., that primarily operates the Realtor.com website.

News Corp’s subscription and video services division, which includes Foxtel, the Australian pay-TV provider, posted a 1.6% decline in revenue and a 2.6% decline in share of revenue, due to the negative impact from a decline in value of foreign currency and less housing. ad trackers.

News Corp announced last month that its board had formed a special committee to consider the idea of ​​reuniting with Fox corp.

, nearly a decade after the two companies split. Mr. Thomson on Thursday said there could be no certainty that the company would engage in such a transaction, and had no further comment.

Write to Alexandra Bruell at [email protected]

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