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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

$3.7b loss

NEWS Corporation says its publishing wing incurred a $US2.1b ($F3.7b) loss in the last financial year. Revenues fell 5 per cent, partly as a result of the closure of the News of the World, which it stopped publishing after the phone-hacking scandal broke in the UK. The company detailed the losses as it formally applied to US regulators the Securities and Exchange Commission to split its business into two. News Corp plans to separate publishing from its film and TV business. The publishing arm, which News Corp said had made a profit of $US678m ($F1.2b) the year before, will be called New News Corp. It will include book publisher Harper Collins, the Times and the Sun newspapers in the UK, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and the Australian. The more lucrative TV and film business will be the parent company and will be called Fox Group.

Blackberry drops

BLACKBERRY-maker Research in Motion (RIM) has seen its profits plunge, and reported the first fall in quarterly subscription numbers in the company's history. The Canadian firm made a net profit of $US9m ($F15.9m) in the three months to December 1, down from $US265m ($F469) a year ago. During the quarter, its global subscriber base fell to 79 million from 80 million. RIM hopes to revive its fortunes with a new operating system. The Blackberry 10 system will be introduced from January 30 on a new range of handsets. RIM's revenues for the quarter totalled $US2.7bn ($F4.7b).

Dispute ends

CATHAY Pacific Airways customers will be greeted with a smile after all, following the end of a labour dispute. Cabin crew in Hong Kong had threatened industrial action that included withholding food, alcohol and even smiles from passengers. The dispute was over pay and working conditions. The settlement means the airline has averted what could have been a chaotic holiday season with hundreds of scheduled flights disrupted. Last week at a union meeting cabin crew voted in favour of a work-to-rule, which could have delayed flights. Working to rule means the workers do no more than the minimum work required in their contracts. The Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants union, which represents about two-thirds of all cabin crew, was asking for a 5 per cent pay raise from next year. The airline, did not move on its offer of a 2 per cent raise.

IT restructure

PAPUA New Guinea Public Enterprises and State Investments Minister Ben Micah wants Chinese communications giant Huawei Technologies to modernise and expand the country's information communications infrastructure. Micah, who is in Shenzhen, China to hold discussions with investors, last week met with representatives of Huawei. He was impressed with how the company was moving forward in innovation and technology and had committed to PNG expanding its relationship with Huawei into bigger things. Micah will be directing officials to work closely with Huawei and come to conclusions in Beijing when the government finalises and signs the K6 billion ($F5.1b) Exim Bank loan next year.

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