UPDATE 2-News Corp revenue rises unexpectedly, snaps five quarters of declines

Mon Aug 8, 2016 6:09pm EDT
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Aug 8 (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's News Corp reported an unexpected 5.1 percent rise in quarterly revenue, helped by growth in its digital real estate business and in its news division that houses the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

An extra week in the fourth quarter ended June 30 also helped the New York-based company's revenue rise in the quarter and snap a streak of five straight quarters of declines.

The company's revenue rose to $2.23 billion from $2.12 billion. Analysts on average were expecting revenue to fall to $2.06 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue in News Corp's news and information division, its biggest, rose 1 percent to $1.42 billion. This is the first time the unit's revenue has increased since the company split from Twenty-First Century Fox in mid-2013.

The unit also includes the Dow Jones Newswires as well as the Times and the Sun in the UK and newspapers in Murdoch's native Australia.

The company emphasized that global print ad trends remained "challenging", but said it would continue its aggressive growth in digital.

"Digital subscriptions continue to grow and now account for approximately 45% of the subscriber base, while print sales have also risen tangibly in recent months," Chief Executive Robert Thomson said in a statement.

Thomson Reuters , the parent of Reuters News, competes for financial customers with News Corp's Dow Jones and Bloomberg LP.   Continued...