Fox turns in solid FQ1 results amidst M&A flurry | Major Businesses | Business
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21st Century Fox has reported higher fiscal first-quarter earnings ahead of its deal closing with the Walt Disney Co.

fox 8 nov 2018Q1 profit rose to $1.285 billion, well up from $855 million a year ago, thanks in no small part to a tax benefit of $220 million from selling its 39% stake in Sky to Comcast. Revenue meanwhile was up just 2% to $7.177 billion.

The numbers took into account a $147 million gain from selling its stake in Sky, and a $114 million loss from its 30% stake in Hulu.

“We continue to deliver against our growth plan even as we make important strides toward completing our Disney transaction and launching Fox in the first half of 2019,” said Fox executive chairs Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, in a statement. “We have assembled a stellar leadership team for FOX, giving us further confidence in the new company’s ability to capture opportunities in live programming while delivering long-term value for shareholders. Our quarterly performance builds on the operational and financial achievements of last year and sets up our businesses for continued momentum under both the enlarged Disney and the future Fox.”

Fox said its cable network programming business had a 2% increase in operating income to $1.54 billion on a 4% increase in revenue. Affiliate revenue was up 9%, and advertising revenue was up 7% thanks to increased spending for Fox News spots.

Operating income at Fox’s television business, including Fox Broadcasting, was up 38% on a 20% increase in revenue. Ad revenue jumped 22% because of the World Cup, NFL games and higher political ad revenue ahead of the US midterm elections.