21st Century Fox reported lower fourth-quarter profits despite gains at its cable programming operations. Net income fell 16 per cent to $476 million (€406m), down from $567 million.
Revenues rose 2 per cent to $6.75 billion in the quarter.
Operating income increased 19 per cent to $1.44 billion at the company’s cable network programming unit. Revenue rose to $4.329 billion from $3.921 billion. At Fox’s television unit, which includes the Fox Broadcasting Co., fourth-quarter operating income fell by $7 million to $137 million. Revenue dropped to $137 million from $144 million.
National and local advertising was down, offsetting gains in retransmission payments. Expenses were 3 per cent lower because of lower entertainment programming costs.
21st Century Fox’s film unit lost $22 million, compared with $164 million in operating income a year ago.
“We delivered strong financial and operational momentum in fiscal 2017,” said Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, the company’s executive chairmen. “The investment we have made in our video brands, and in programming that truly differentiates, is proving to be the right strategy. It is driving the value of our brand portfolio across both established and emerging distribution platforms and reflects our deep commitment to creative excellence across all of our entertainment production businesses. In addition, the outstanding performance of our live news and sports programming drove advertising growth for the year and continues to set our business apart. What we achieved in 2017 sets us up well for this year and beyond.”