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Murdoch's papers lose revenue and circulation

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Continued falls in ad income at Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspapers continue to hurt revenue but his company News Corporation has still managed a $US150 million ($A168.81 million) net profit.

The second quarter profit beat forecasts while the 4.0 per cent decline in revenue to $2.24 billion was expected.

Dual-listed publishing company News Corp includes Murdoch’s global newspaper empire and was demerged last year from the more profitable TV and movie operations, which are now called 21st Century Fox.

The company’s shares in New York rose 4.5 per cent on the news.

Weakness in the Australian newspaper ad market was blamed for the revenue fall for the three months to the end of December.

Australian newspaper revenues declined 17 per cent and circulation and subscription revenues fell 7.0 per cent.

Legal costs for the UK hacking investigation that led to the closure of the News of the World newspaper were $19 million.

The profit was attributable to areas outside the newspapers, such as its online real estate and Australia pay TV group Fox Sports businesses.

Chief executive Robert Thomson said the earnings report demonstrated some progress as the company navigated a challenging advertising market.

“Digital subscriptions and website traffic are on the rise at most of our sites, and revenue at REA, the online real estate company, continues to expand encouragingly,” he said.

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