21st Century Fox delivers “solid” quarter

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21st Century Fox has reported financial results for the three months ended December 31st, 2017.

The Company reported quarterly income from continuing operations attributable to 21st Century Fox stockholders of $1.84 billion, a 114 per cent increase compared to $857 million reported in the prior year quarter. The current quarter income from continuing operations attributable to 21st Century Fox stockholders includes a tax benefit of $1.34 billion, due to a non-cash remeasurement of the Company’s net deferred tax liability related to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The Company reported total quarterly revenues of $8.04 billion, a $355 million, or 5 per cent, increase from the $7.68 billion of revenues reported in the prior year quarter. This increase reflects higher affiliate, syndication and advertising revenues reported at the Cable Network Programming segment partially offset by lower revenues reported at the Television segment.

Commenting on the results, Executive Chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch said: “We delivered another quarter of solid top-line revenue growth including the further acceleration of gains in global affiliate revenues and despite challenging revenue comparisons for our TV segment. Our results also reflect increased investment behind higher volumes of global sporting events as well as film releases from our studio, which led the industry in Golden Globe awards and Oscar nominations. Looking ahead, we are focused on continuing to deliver value to our shareholders through achieving our near-term growth plans, completing our proposed acquisition of the balance of Sky, obtaining the required approvals for the successful completion of our transaction with Disney and planning for the exciting launch of the new ‘Fox’.”

In terms of the two transactions, the company said that the Disney deal is expected to be completed approximately 12 to 18 months from December 13th, 2017, and that the Sky acquisition has also received unconditional clearance by all relevant competition authorities.

It noted that on January 23rd, the UK’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) published its notice of provisional findings on media plurality and broadcasting standards which provisionally found that the company has a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards and the transaction is not likely to operate against the public interest in this respect but did raise provisional public interest concerns regarding media plurality. In addition, the CMA elected to avail itself of the statutory eight-week extension, moving its deadline for the provision of its final report to the UK Secretary of State to May 1st, 2018. The Company anticipates regulatory approval of the transaction by June 30th, 2018.


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