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Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has reported a 47 per cent year-on-year surge in net profit in the first three months of 2012.

Announcing the results for the third quarter of its financial year, from January to the end of March, News Corp said net profit stood at $937 million.

Operating profit grew by 23 per cent year on year to $1.3 billion and revenue was up two per cent at $8.4 billion.

The group's publishing division reported an operating profit of $130 million, down 19 per cent on a like-for-like basis due to advertising revenue declines in Australia and the UK, and the absence of contributions from the now-closed News of the World.

The results include a further $63 million charge relating to "the costs of the ongoing investigations initiated upon the closure of the News of the World". The total spent on the legal response to the phone hacking scandal has now reached $167 million, since the Guardian's story in July last year.

News Corporation chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch said: "Once again News Corporation showed strong operational momentum in the quarter. With our disciplined approach to magnetising our brands, I believe we are better situated than ever to capitalise on the increasing global demand for our superior content.

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