News Corp reports losses of £1bn

News Corporation has reported a loss in its quarterly results, with the company facing ongoing legal charges over the phone-hacking scandal.

The firm's net loss was 1.6 billion dollars (£1 billion) for the three months to the end of June, compared with a net income of 683 million dollars (£436.2 million) in the same period last year.

Publishing profits fell to 139 million dollars (£88.8 million), from 270 million dollars (£172 million).

The company's full year results included a 224 million dollar (£143 million) charge related to "the costs of the ongoing investigations initiated upon the closure of The News of the World". This included a 57 million dollar (£36.4 million) charge in the last quarter.

Commenting on the results, News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch said the company was in a "strong" position which would be enhanced by plans to split the company into two parts - separating its entertainment businesses from publishing assets including The Sun and The Times.

The move would see the group's 39% stake in broadcasting giant BSkyB separately listed from the embattled UK newspaper arm News International, which has been the focus of the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closure of the News of the World.

Mr Murdoch said: "We are proud of the full year financial growth achieved over the last 12 months, led by our Cable Network Programming and Filmed Entertainment segments.

"Not only did we execute on our operating plan and deliver on our financial targets, we returned over 5 billion dollars to shareholders through an aggressive buyback programme and dividends.

He added: "Our company has continued to innovate, grow and consistently adapt to the rapidly changing media industry landscape. We find ourselves in the middle of great change, driven by shifts in technology, consumer behaviour, advertiser demands and economic uncertainty and change brings about great opportunity.

"News Corporation is in a strong operational, strategic and financial position, which should only be enhanced by the proposed separation of the media and entertainment and publishing businesses."