News Ltd posts heavy loss in 2011/12

Poor advertising markets have led to losses at the Australian arm of Rupert Murdoch's global media empire blowing out by more than 50 per cent.

News Limited lost $476.7 million in the 12 months to June 30, 2012, accounts filed by the newspaper company with the corporate regulator show.

The result was considerably worse than the $300.4 million loss in the prior year and came on the back of a 10 per cent decline in revenue from publishing activities to $2.65 billion.

"Advertising revenues declined during the fiscal year driven by negative consumer sentiment," News Ltd said in its accounts released by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on Tuesday.

News Ltd also copped a $731.7 million impairment charge on its mastheads, titles and related goodwill.

"The impairment charges reflect lower future forecast earnings for these businesses and uncertainties surrounding the timing of future digital revenue streams," it said.

News Ltd, the Australian arm of Mr Murdoch's global media empire News Corporation, publishes newspapers including The Australian, Melbourne Herald Sun and Sydney's The Daily Telegraph.

During 2011/12, News Ltd paid its parent a dividend of $1.24 billion.

Newspapers, both in Australia and around the world, have battled declining circulation and the shift of advertisers online, forcing publishers to transform their businesses.

News has cut about 500 jobs in Australia in 2012, according to union estimates, consolidated its newsrooms and reduced the number of divisions on Australia's east coast from 19 to five.

Struggling rival Fairfax Media has announced 1,900 jobs would go as it tried to adapt to the dramatic changes in media.

News Ltd chief executive Kim Williams said recently there was plenty of life left in print media.

"I would say there's much more cause for hope than for pessimism," Mr Williams told a Melbourne Press Club lunch in November.

News Ltd's accounts for 2011/12 were filed with ASIC on October 30, but only made available on Tuesday after being processed.

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