News Corp shows third quarter profit

San Francisco (AFP) –

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Rupert Murdoch's mass media and publishing company News Corp posted a third quarter net profit of $23 million Thursday, boosted by its HarperCollins book division.

Revenue for the January-March quarter, the third of its offbeat year, rose 17 percent to $2.46 billion, "thanks to the consolidation of Foxtel and confirmed strength of publishing," mainly at HarperCollins, the company said in a statement.

The New York-based group's net profit of $23 million (20.5 million euros)compared to an exceptional loss of more than $1 billion last year for the same period, due to asset depreciation.

As shown by the company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), profit increased dramatically to $247 million from $181 million the year before.

The group also showed an increase in its subscriber base for the online edition of the Wall Street Journal, which had a record 1.8 million subscribers by the end of March, an increase of 19 percent.

News Corp retained the publishing operations of Murdoch's media-entertainment empire after a 2013 split that created 21st Century Fox.

Murdoch, 87, began a gradual withdrawal from both companies in 2013, and now shares the title of chairman with his eldest son Lachlan at both firms.