News Corp is in talks to sell News America Marketing after impairments against the advertising business helped drag the media giant to a $US227 million first-quarter loss.
Revenue for the three months to September 30 dropped 7.3 per cent amid lower print-related advertising revenues at its news operations, lower Foxtel subscription revenues, and pressure at its part-owned REA Group.
But the big hit to the bottom line came from $US273 million of non-cash impairment charges, largely against News America Marketing.
Chief executive Robert Thomson said News Corp was in the process of trying to offload News America Marketing, which experienced a 10 per cent drop in revenue, while video ad platform Unruly could be next on the chopping block.
“We are in active discussions about a sale of News America Marketing and also are reviewing the potential sale of Unruly,” Mr Thomson said.
“We are taking steps to reduce our sum of the parts discount, while investing in our digital businesses, to the benefit of all shareholders.”
Revenue from News Corp Australia, which includes The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and The Courier-Mail newspapers, declined 11 per cent amid an overall eight per cent decline from news and information services.
Print volumes continued to decline in Australia and the UK.
Subscription video revenues dropped nine per cent despite a six per cent lift in overall Foxtel subscriber numbers due to currency fluctuations and customers switching from cable to streaming.
Income from its 61.6 per cent owned REA Group decreased 14 per cent to $US149 million, with the Australian property classifieds business citing the lingering effects of the local housing downturn.