NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug 9, 2018--News Corporation (“News Corp” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) today reported financial results for the three months and fiscal year ended June 30, 2018.

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Robert Thomson said:

“Fiscal 2018 was a year of operational and transformational success at News Corp, with robust performance across our businesses, and positive and profound changes in the character of our revenue flows, which were more global, digital and subscription-based. We generated strong revenue and Segment EBITDA growth in the Digital Real Estate Services and Book Publishing segments, which, together with the consolidation of Foxtel, drove over $1 billion in profitability for the year.

Digital Real Estate Services continues to flourish and we expanded into meaningful adjacencies, broadening our audience and our revenue sources. HarperCollins’ success underscores the importance of intelligent editors and great writers in creating premium content. Algorithms are, as yet, unable to write empathetic, compelling books. We also saw meaningful operational improvements at the News and Information Services segment led by higher digital paid subscribers and disciplined cost initiatives, notably in Australia. Mastheads like The Times, The Sunday Times and The Wall Street Journal reached new heights in their digital transformation, with digital paid subscribers now exceeding print subscribers. The new Foxtel is focused on product innovation and leveraging its valuable content.

News Corp is now a more substantial company after the Foxtel transaction, with a much higher percentage of recurring, subscription-based revenues, which should help offset a volatile advertising environment.

We are marking five years since our Separation and are confident News Corp has a lustrous future, built on a strong digital and global foundation.”

FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS

The Company reported fiscal 2018 fourth quarter total revenues of $2.69 billion, a 29% increase compared to $2.08 billion in the prior year period, reflecting the inclusion of Foxtel’s results, following the Transaction, as described below, continued strong growth in the Book Publishing and Digital Real Estate Services segments and a $29 million positive impact from foreign currency fluctuations. The growth was partially offset by lower print advertising revenues at the News and Information Services segment. Adjusted Revenues (which exclude the foreign currency impact, acquisitions and divestitures as defined in Note 1) increased 5%.

In April 2018, News Corp and Telstra combined their respective 50% interests in Foxtel and News Corp’s 100% interest in FOX SPORTS Australia into a new company (the “Transaction”), which we refer to as new Foxtel. Following completion of the Transaction, News Corp owns a 65% interest in new Foxtel with Telstra owning the remaining 35%. Consequently, the Company began consolidating Foxtel in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. See Note 4 for pro forma financial information reflecting the Transaction.

Net loss for the quarter was ($355) million as compared to ($424) million in the prior year. The result is mainly due to the loss of $337 million related to the Transaction, primarily resulting from the write-off of the FOX SPORTS Australia channel distribution agreement (the “FSA channel distribution agreement”) intangible asset, which is reflected in Other, net. The results were also impacted by higher tax expense, driven primarily by certain one-time items related to the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”), tax settlements and the tax effects of the Transaction. The prior year quarter’s results included non-cash impairment charges of $464 million, primarily related to the write-down of fixed assets.

Total Segment EBITDA for the quarter was $312 million, a 45% increase compared to $215 million in the prior year, reflecting the inclusion of Foxtel’s results and continued strength in the Book Publishing and Digital Real Estate Services segments. Adjusted Total Segment EBITDA (as defined in Note 1) increased 13%.

Loss per share available to News Corporation stockholders was ($0.64) as compared to ($0.74) in the prior year.

Adjusted EPS (as defined in Note 3) were $0.08 compared to $0.11 in the prior year.

FULL YEAR RESULTS

The Company reported fiscal 2018 full year total revenues of $9.02 billion, an 11% increase compared to $8.14 billion in the prior year period, reflecting the inclusion of Foxtel’s results, strong growth in the Digital Real Estate Services and Book Publishing segments and a $172 million positive impact from foreign currency fluctuations. The growth was partially offset by lower print advertising and News America Marketing revenues at the News and Information Services segment. Adjusted Revenues increased 2%.

Net loss for the full year was ($1.4) billion as compared to ($643) million in the prior year. The loss was primarily driven by higher non-cash write-downs, mainly comprised of $998 million related to Foxtel and FOX SPORTS Australia and the $165 million related to News America Marketing, as well as the $337 million loss on the Transaction referenced above and a $237 million charge resulting from the Tax Act. The prior year’s results included non-cash impairment charges of $1.0 billion, primarily related to the write-down of fixed assets and Foxtel.

Total Segment EBITDA for the full year was $1.07 billion, a 21% increase compared to $885 million in the prior year, driven by the strength in the Digital Real Estate Services and Book Publishing segments, as well as the inclusion of Foxtel’s results. Adjusted Total Segment EBITDA increased 6%.

Loss per share available to News Corporation stockholders was ($2.60) as compared to ($1.27) in the prior year.

Adjusted EPS were $0.44 compared to $0.36 in the prior year.

SEGMENT REVIEW

News and Information Services

Fourth Quarter Segment Results

Revenues in the quarter increased $13 million, or 1%, compared to the prior year. Within the segment, News UK and Dow Jones revenues grew 4% and 3%, respectively, while revenues at News Corp Australia and News America Marketing declined 3% and 2%, respectively. Adjusted Revenues for the segment were 1% lower compared to the prior year.

Advertising revenues declined $12 million, or 2%, compared to the prior year, reflecting a moderating decline compared to the prior quarter rate. The decline was driven by weakness in the print advertising market and the decision to cease The Wall Street Journal ’s international print editions in the second quarter of fiscal 2018. The decline was partially offset by the growth in digital advertising revenues at News Corp Australia and News UK, increase in advertising revenues at Wireless Group and the positive impact from foreign currency fluctuations.

Circulation and subscription revenues increased $26 million, or 5%, primarily due to a healthy contribution from Dow Jones, which saw a 9% increase in its circulation revenues, reflecting continued digital subscriber growth at The Wall Street Journal, and strong growth in its professional information business. Cover and subscription price increases, as well as the positive impact from foreign currency fluctuations also contributed to the revenue improvement. These increases were partially offset by lower print volume.

Segment EBITDA declined $9 million in the quarter, or 9%, as compared to the prior year, primarily due to higher costs at Dow Jones and lower revenues at News Corp Australia, partially offset by higher contribution from News America Marketing and cost reduction initiatives at News Corp Australia.

Digital revenues represented 30% of News and Information Services segment revenues in the quarter, compared to 26% in the prior year. For the quarter, digital revenues for Dow Jones and the newspaper mastheads represented 33% of their combined revenues, and at Dow Jones, digital accounted for 53% of its circulation revenues. Digital subscribers and users across key properties within the News and Information Services segment are summarized below:

The Wall Street Journal average daily digital subscribers in the three months ended June 30, 2018 were 1,590,000, compared to 1,270,000 in the prior year (Source: Internal data) Closing digital subscribers at News Corp Australia’s mastheads as of June 30, 2018 were 415,600, compared to 363,600 in the prior year (Source: Internal data) The Times and Sunday Times closing digital subscribers as of June 30, 2018 were 256,000, compared to 201,000 in the prior year (Source: Internal data) The Sun ’s digital offering reached approximately 85 million global monthly unique users in June 2018, flat compared to the prior year, based on ABCe (Source: Omniture)

Full Year Segment Results

Fiscal 2018 full year revenues increased $50 million, or 1%, compared to the prior year, including the $119 million positive impact from foreign currency fluctuations. Within the segment, News UK, Dow Jones and News Corp Australia revenues grew 4%, 2% and 1%, respectively, while revenues at News America Marketing declined 6%. Adjusted Revenues for the segment were 3% lower compared to the prior year.

Advertising revenues declined $76 million, or 3%, while circulation and subscription revenues increased $105 million, or 5%, driven by the factors discussed above in the fourth quarter segment results.

Full year Segment EBITDA declined $22 million, or 5%, as compared to the prior year, primarily due to the $12 million impact from the absence of the adjustment to reduce the deferred consideration accrual related to the acquisition of Unruly in the prior year period. Adjusted Segment EBITDA (as defined in Note 1) decreased 9% compared to the prior year.

Book Publishing

Fourth Quarter Segment Results

Revenues in the quarter increased $83 million, or 20%, compared to the prior year, primarily due to higher sales in general, children’s and Christian books, including the success of frontlist titles such as Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara and Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, as well as the continued strength of backlist titles such as The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Growth was also driven by $28 million of revenue from the sublicensing agreement for J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the $5 million positive impact from foreign currency fluctuations. Adjusted Revenues increased 19%. Digital sales increased 12% compared to the prior year, driven by the growth in downloadable audiobook sales, and represented 20% of Consumer revenues for the quarter. Segment EBITDA for the quarter increased $32 million, or 82%, from the prior year due to the higher revenues noted above and the mix of titles.

Full Year Segment Results

Fiscal 2018 full year revenues increased $122 million, or 7%, compared to the prior year, primarily due to higher sales in general books, including the success of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! by Ree Drummond and The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn. The growth was also driven by $28 million of revenue from the sublicensing agreement for J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the $25 million positive impact from foreign currency fluctuations. Digital sales increased 6% compared to the prior year, driven by the growth in downloadable audiobook sales, and represented 19% of Consumer revenues for the year. Segment EBITDA increased $45 million, or 23%, from the prior year due to the higher revenues noted above and the mix of titles. Adjusted Revenues increased 6% and Adjusted Segment EBITDA increased 22%.

Digital Real Estate Services

Fourth Quarter Segment Results

Revenues in the quarter increased $48 million, or 19%, compared to the prior year, primarily due to the continued growth at REA Group and Move. Segment EBITDA in the quarter increased $12 million, or 14%, compared to the prior year, primarily due to the higher revenues discussed above, partially offset by broker commissions from the acquisition of Smartline, increased costs associated with revenue growth and higher marketing costs, primarily at Move. Adjusted Revenues and Adjusted Segment EBITDA increased 12% and 10%, respectively.

In the quarter, revenues at REA Group increased 27% to $172 million from $135 million in the prior year, primarily due to an increase in Australian residential depth revenue, driven by favorable product mix and pricing increases, as well as higher financial services revenues driven by the acquisition of Smartline.

Move’s revenues in the quarter increased 11% to $120 million from $108 million in the prior year, primarily due to the continued growth in its Connections SM for Buyers product, driven by improvement in yield optimization and an increase in leads and customers. Based on Move’s internal data, average monthly unique users of realtor.com ® ’s web and mobile sites for the fiscal fourth quarter grew 9% year-over-year to 63 million, with mobile representing more than half of all unique users.

Full Year Segment Results

Fiscal 2018 full year revenues increased $203 million, or 22%, compared to the prior year, primarily due to the continued strong growth at REA Group and Move. Segment EBITDA increased $77 million, or 24%, compared to the prior year, primarily due to the higher revenues discussed above, partially offset by increased costs associated with revenue growth, broker commissions from the acquisition of Smartline and higher marketing costs, primarily at Move. Adjusted Revenues and Adjusted Segment EBITDA increased 17% and 20%, respectively.

In the fiscal year, revenues at REA Group increased 27% to $666 million from $525 million in the prior year, and Move’s revenues in the fiscal year increased 15% to $452 million from $394 million in the prior year, driven by the factors discussed above in the fourth quarter segment results.

Subscription Video Services

Fourth Quarter Segment Results

Revenues and Segment EBITDA in the quarter increased $470 million and $73 million, respectively, compared to the prior year, primarily due to the inclusion of Foxtel. Segment EBITDA also includes $12 million of costs related to the Transaction. Adjusted Revenues and Adjusted Segment EBITDA, which exclude the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, acquisitions and divestitures, increased 6% and 38%, respectively.

On a pro forma basis reflecting the Transaction, segment revenues in the quarter decreased $33 million, or 5%, compared with the prior year, primarily due to lower subscription revenues at new Foxtel, due to subscriber mix, and lower advertising revenues, partially offset by the positive impact from foreign currency fluctuations.

As of June 30, 2018, new Foxtel’s total closing subscribers were approximately 2.8 million, which was higher than the prior year, primarily due to the launch of Foxtel Now. In the fourth quarter, cable and satellite residential churn was 12.5% compared to 13.3% in the prior year. Broadcast residential ARPU for the quarter declined 3%.

Pro forma Segment EBITDA in the quarter decreased $69 million, or 39%, compared with the prior year, primarily due to the lower revenues discussed above, higher programming costs which reflect increased National Rugby League and domestic football league rights costs and $10 million of transition costs.

Full Year Segment Results

Revenues and Segment EBITDA for fiscal 2018 increased $510 million and $50 million, respectively, compared to the prior year, primarily due to the inclusion of Foxtel. Segment EBITDA also includes $17 million of costs related to the Transaction. Adjusted Revenues and Adjusted Segment EBITDA, which exclude the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, acquisitions and divestitures, increased 4% and declined 5%, respectively.

On a pro forma basis, segment revenues for fiscal 2018 were flat compared with the prior year, as the positive impact from foreign currency fluctuations was offset by lower subscription revenues at new Foxtel, due to subscriber mix, and lower advertising revenues.

Pro forma Segment EBITDA for fiscal 2018 decreased $154 million, or 22%, compared with the prior year, primarily due to $90 million of higher sports programming costs, mainly related to the Australian Football League and National Rugby League rights, as well as the lower subscription revenues noted above and $10 million of transition costs.

REVIEW OF EQUITY LOSSES OF AFFILIATES’ RESULTS

Equity losses of affiliates for the fourth quarter improved to ($4) million compared to ($19) million in the prior year, primarily due to the absence of write-offs and impairments of $9 million on certain other equity method investments in the prior year as well as the absence of Foxtel’s results.

Fiscal 2018 full year equity losses of affiliates were ($1,006) million compared to ($295) million in the prior year. During fiscal 2018, the Company recognized a $957 million non-cash write-down of its investment in Foxtel and $13 million in non-cash write-downs of certain equity method investments’ carrying values. During fiscal 2017, the Company recognized a $227 million non-cash write-down of its investment in Foxtel as well as write-offs and impairments of $9 million on certain other equity method investments.

FULL YEAR CASH FLOW

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