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Real estate bright spot for News Corp

AAP logoAAP 8/11/2016 Peter Trute

Weakness in the print advertising market has cut into earnings for News Corp's key news division as the media giant also revealed a $US21 million ($A27 million) hit from the decision to close the Presto streaming service.

News Corp said first-quarter group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped 21 per cent to $US130 million compared to the previous corresponding quarter.

Newspaper division EBITDA dropped 45 per cent to $US46 million on lower advertising revenue, increased investment and transaction costs from the acquisition of radio business Wireless Group.

Real estate was a bright spot, with revenue and earnings from digital real estate services both up 18 per cent to $US226 million and $US35 million respectively.

News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson said growth in digital revenues across the news and real estate services was positioning the company for longer-term growth.

"Our digital real estate services segment posted another strong quarter with an 18 per cent year-over-year revenue increase and is on a clear path to reshape the character of News Corp," Mr Thomson said.

Net income from News's Foxtel pay-TV service fell to $US16 million from $US42 million, largely because of the loss associated with last month's decision to wrap up Presto.

Presto, which had about 130,000 paying subscribers at the time of the closure announcement, will cease operating in January.

News Corp's Australian-listed shares closed up 21 cents, or 1.3 per cent, at $16.11 on Tuesday.

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