News Corp revenue boosted by gains in Dow Jones and real-estate units

Increases in advertising sales and subscriptions fueled growth at Wall Street Journal parent Dow Jones

News Corp said revenue and segment earnings rose in the March quarter, driven by gains in its Dow Jones and digital real-estate units.

The New York-based media company, which owns The Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins Publishers and news organizations in the U.K. and Australia, reported revenue of $2.5 billion, up 7% from the year-earlier period. Segment earnings, which exclude interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and restructuring charges, among other items, rose 20%.

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News Corp posted net profit of $82 million, or 14 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $79 million, or 13 cents a share, a year earlier.

Dow Jones, the publisher of the Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch, posted 16% revenue growth, boosted by circulation and subscription gains, as well as higher ad sales. Excluding the acquisitions of Investor’s Business Daily and the Oil Price Information Service business, currency fluctuations and other items, revenue grew 9%.

Digital advertising revenue jumped 21% at Dow Jones, driven by improvement in the financial-services and technology categories, while print advertising sales increased 18%, thanks to a rebound from pandemic-related weakness last year. Overall, ad revenue increased 20%.

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"While the conflict in Ukraine had a short-term impact on advertising, given that certain advertisers did not want juxtaposition with war coverage, overall trends remain favorable," News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson said on an earnings call.

A copy of the Wall Street Journal is seen at an office in New York (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton / Reuters)

The Journal averaged more than 3 million digital subscriptions in the quarter, up from over 2.9 million in the previous quarter. Including the print edition, the Journal averaged 3.7 million subscriptions in the period. Total average subscriptions to Dow Jones consumer products reached over 4.8 million, the company said.

News Corp’s other news publications, which include the New York Post, the Sun and the Times in the U.K. and many papers in Australia, reported a 5% increase in revenue.

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The company’s book-publishing unit, HarperCollins Publishers, posted a 5% revenue increase, helped by the acquisition of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Books and Media segment and strong performance by titles such as "Red Handed" by Peter Schweizer and "The Paris Apartment" by Lucy Foley. Segment earnings decreased 16%, due in part to higher manufacturing and freight costs, as well as the impact from continuing supply-chain and inflationary pressures.

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The company’s digital real-estate services division reported a 19% gain in revenue. Segment earnings increased 17%. News Corp has a majority stake in REA Group Ltd. , a publicly traded digital real-estate company, as well as an 80% stake in Move Inc., an online real-estate business based in Santa Clara, Calif., that primarily operates the website Realtor.com.

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News Corp’s subscription-video-services unit, which includes Foxtel, an Australian pay-TV provider, posted a 6% decrease in revenue and a 13% drop in segment earnings. The unit’s performance was weighed down by the loss of residential broadcast subscribers and by foreign currency fluctuations.

Write to Alexandra Bruell at alexandra.bruell@wsj.com