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DVD Spurs News Corp. Q4

8 Aug, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Strong 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment DVD sales of The Family Stone, Big Momma's House 2 and Cheaper By the Dozen 2 helped parent News Corp.'s filmed-entertainment division post fourth-quarter (ended June 30) operating income of $200 million, compared to $109 million during the same period last year.

Filmed Entertainment fiscal-year revenue topped almost $1.1 billion, compared to $1.05 billion last year. Fiscal year home entertainment performers included Robots, Walk the Line, Fantastic Four, Hide and Seek, Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

Theatrical hit Ice Age: The Meltdown continued to drive quarterly box office revenue to $640 million since its release April 2. Other drivers included The Devil Wears Prada ($110 since release July 2) and X-Men: The Last Stand ($440 million since May 28).

“Our recent box office success set us up to have a very successful home entertainment business in 2007,” said Peter Chernin, president of News Corp., in an investor call.

News Corp. reported revenue of $6.8 billion, compared to $6.1 billion last year. Net income was $852 million compared to $717 million last year. For the fiscal year, revenue topped $25 billion, compared to almost $24 billion last year. Income was $2.3 billion compared to $2.1 billion last year.

Chernin called the Aug. 7-announced search agreement deal with Google Inc. a “landmark deal” for News Corp.

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