News confident of double-digit growth

News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said at the company's annual meeting yesterday that shareholders could expect another record profit this financial year and potentially higher dividend payouts. Murdoch said the company should deliver earnings growth of around 20 per cent a year for the next few years. Murdoch also said that News has no major acquisition plans at present. “We're talking organic growth but not big mergers,” he said.

The purchase of a 34 per cent stake in Hughes Electronics, owner of US-based satellite television provider DirecTV, for $A9.6 billion is expected to be completed by December. At the meeting, the board also withdrew a proposal to award options packages to six non-executive directors following strong opposition from institutional shareholders in Australia.