21st Century Fox revs take post-Sky sale hit


Joseph O'Halloran

| 06 August 2015

The contribution of the Sky pay-TV business to Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox organisation has been shown clearly in its latest set of yearly accounts.

For the quarter and financial year ended 30 June 2015, the company reported total revenues of $28.99 billion, a $2.88 billion decrease from prior year revenues. Excluding the net revenues from its DBS businesses, Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland AG, which were sold in November 2014 to Sky plc, adjusted revenues increased $890 million, or 3%, over the $26.06 billion of adjusted revenues in the prior year. This increase was primarily driven by double-digit revenue growth at the cable network programming segment.

On the upside, 21st Century Fox netted $7.3 billion in net proceeds from selling its stakes in Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland AG to Sky, and acquiring approximately $900 million of additional shares in Sky and Sky's 21% stake of National Geographic Channels International. This all resulted in annual total segment operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBA) of $6.72 billion, equal to the amount reported in the prior year. Excluding the OIBDA contributions from the DBS businesses in both years, OIBDA increased $197 million, or 3%, over the $6.29 billion of adjusted OIBDA in the prior year, due to higher contributions from the company's cable network programming and filmed entertainment segments.

Commenting on the results, executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, who will be replaced in due course by son James, said: "We made clear operational strides over the last year that will further position us to benefit from the strong and growing global demand for high quality video content. We delivered a solid financial performance, driven by sustained gains in affiliate fees, while we continued to invest in building our new channels Fox Sports 1, FXX and Star Sports. The appeal of our new sports rights resonated with consumers globally, whether it was STAR Sports in India setting new records with hundreds of millions of viewers for the ICC Cricket World Cup, or the more than 25 million viewers who watched the Women's World Cup Final on FOX. Our company is well positioned for this time of opportunity in our industry."