Global media giant News Corp has more than doubled its first-half profit because of the financial benefits of its purchase of a greater stake in Fox Sports.
News Corp's net profit in the six months to December 31 of $US4.61 billion ($A4.45 billion) was up from $US1.8 billion ($A1.74 billion) in the same period in the previous year.
For the three months to December, net profit of $US2.38 billion ($A2.30 billion) was up from the previous corresponding period's $US1.06 billion ($A1.02 billion).
It was during that period that News Corp took over Consolidated Media, taking complete ownership of Fox Sports and doubling its share in Foxtel to 50 per cent.
That deal, plus News Corp's increased stake in Fox Star Sports Asia, delivered $US1.4 billion in additional pre-tax income in the three months to December, News Corp said on Thursday.
News Corp's operating income in the six months to December was $US2.96 billion, up from $US2.88 billion in the previous corresponding period.
The rise was due to improved operating income from its cable network and television businesses, the company said.
"The strategies we executed ... in the quarter continue to bolster News Corporation's competitive position and enhance our ability to benefit from global demand for content, especially sports programming," chairman and chief executive officer Rupert Murdoch said in a statement.
"As we make progress toward the proposed separation of our entertainment and publishing businesses later this year, I am confident in the future prospects for both businesses."
News Corp's plan to split its entertainment and publishing businesses was on track to be completed toward the end of June, the company said.
Work to carry out the split cost $US23 million ($A22.22 million) in the three months to December, alongside $US56 million ($A54.10 million) in costs related to the ongoing investigations into phone hacking in News Corp's UK newspaper business.Advertising revenue from News Corp's Australian newspapers was again lower in the three months to December, but its overall publishing business increased operating income due to the launch of a Sunday edition of The Sun.
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