News Corp made a profit of $34 million, with growth in circulation and subscription revenue in the Dow Jones & Company unit that publishes The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Barron’s and other publications, according to a report released yesterday on the company's first quarter for fiscal year 2021, which ended September 30.
However, News Corp posted revenue of $2.12 billion, a 9.5% decline from a year earlier.
According to The Wall Street Journal reporting, this was “primarily due to the loss of contributions from News America Marketing, its coupon business, which was sold earlier this year.”
Excluding that division, the company said the adjusted revenue decline was 3%.
“News Corp has started the fiscal year strongly, with higher revenue in many of our segments during the first quarter, and a 21% increase year-on-year in profitability, despite the disruptive economic consequences of COVID-19,” stated CEO Robert Thomson.
Digital circulation revenue at Dow Jones & Co. accounted for 63% of the company’s circulation revenue for the quarter.
Circulation and subscription revenue rose 0.7% to $1 billion.
“Dow Jones posted a record first quarter in profitability and higher revenues,” Thomson stated. The Dow Jones unit reported a 47% increase in segment earnings to $72 million.
However, advertising revenue across News Corp dropped 45% to $332 million.
The Wall Street Journal had more than 2.35 million digital subscribers in the quarter. That’s up from about 2.2 million in the previous quarter. The Journal had a total of 3.1 million subscribers in Q1 fiscal 2021.
“There is undoubted U.S. and international potential for Dow Jones to expand audiences and revenues, and the team is pleased by the early returns on a subscriber offering for the previously free MarketWatch service,” Thomson added.
MarketWatch put up a paywall last month.