News Corp. Looks to More than Double Profit From International TV Channels

The company targets operating income from that business to hit $1 billion in fiscal year 2015.

NEW YORK - News Corp. management has often touted its global reach as a key growth opportunity, and the entertainment company on Wednesday put a rare spotlight on the prospects for its international networks.

Hernan Lopez, president and COO of Fox International Channels, told an investor conference that his unit plans to more than double its operating profit from $411 million in fiscal year 2010 to $1 billion in fiscal 2015.

That meant that FIC accounted for 18% of News Corp.'s total cable networks unit's operating profit of $2.27 billion for its latest fiscal year, which in the company's case always ends on June 30.

Lopez cited Latin American markets, including Brazil, Asia, including India, and even European markets as growth opportunities. Pay TV is turning from a "nice to have" to "must have" service for consumers in many emerging markets, he told the 21st annual Citi Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications Conference.

Sharing other figures rarely presented, Lopez cited a compound annual growth rate of his business of 48% since fiscal year 2007, when the unit recorded an operating profit of $128 million. That grew to $232 million in fiscal year 2008 and $320 million a year later.

In fiscal year 2003, Fox International Channels had only made $9 million in operating income, according to a slide that Lopez showed.