Rupert Murdoch sees profits at 21st Century Fox slump in first independent earnings

Rupert Murdoch sees profits at 21st Century Fox slump in first independent earnings

Mr Murdoch said the firm “faced a difficult film comparison and currency headwinds”.

The company pointed to results in the film segment lower than a year ago because of the success of last year’s Ice Age: Continental Drift.

The results were also hit by a $ 139m charge for consolidation of the German satellite TV firm Sky Deutschland.

Mr Murdoch said the company is making investments in its new FXX channel aimed at younger male viewers and Fox Sports 1, which “will drive future sustained growth” toward his goal of operating earnings of $ 9bn by 2016.

Mr Murdoch split his corporate empire into two parts in June under a long-promised plan to “unlock value” by separating high-flying entertainment operations from struggling publishing activities. He remains in charge of both.

The 21st Century Fox group includes the Fox Hollywood studios and television entities, which are showing stronger growth than the publishing arm, which includes struggling newspapers.

Fox shares fell 0.32pc to $ 33.76 in after-hours trading following the earnings report.

The split of the company, which had some $ 34bn in revenues worldwide, was seen partly as a nod to shareholders angered by the damage and costs inflicted by the phone-hacking scandal, and partly because of troubles within the group’s publishing arm.

While some analysts see the outlook for publishing as bleak, Mr Murdoch has said he remains committed to his newspaper roots.

(Edited by Andrew Trotman)

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