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London legal bill hits $125 million, yet things look good for News Corp


By Noel Young, Correspondent

February 10, 2012 | 2 min read

Anyone who doubts the ability of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp to weather the storms in London, only has to look at its latest financial figures out of New York. A run of year-on-year profit declines has been stopped .

Rupert Murdoch: good figures

Revenue rose 2 percent over last year in the second quarter of fiscal 2012: $8.98 billion vs. last year's $8.76 billion. Earnings for the quarter were up 65% to $1.06 billion against last year's $642 million.

"It's particularly impressive considering the obstacles NewsCorp. has had to overcome this quarter alone," says Adweek magazine.

Company' CFO Dave DeVoe put the legal cost of the News of the World phone hacking scandal at $125 million—"a figure substantially higher than our guidance at the beginning of the first quarter," he admitted.

COO Chase Carey estimated that settlement payouts were just 15 percent of that cost - the rest was legal fees. Lost revenue from the News of the World is still a burden.

But News Corp's cable division performed well. With "strong performances" on FX and the start of the presidential election campaign for Fox News, the division grew $147 million year-on-year, from $735 million to $882 million, reported Adweek.

News Corp's digital investments got to $200 million from deals with Netflix and Amazon.

Carey told an analyst, "I don't see how the business doesn't get bigger. Every time you turn around there's somebody else creating a digital platform. This week it was Verizon and Redbox."

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