UPDATE 1-Fox projects growth as it invests in new channels
(Adds growth forecast, comment by COO, share price)
LOS ANGELES, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, the film and TV company recently separated from News Corp, expects to increase profit over the next few years as it invests in new sports and entertainment networks, Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said on Thursday.
Fox has set a target of "$9 billion-plus" in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for fiscal 2016, Carey told investors at a meeting on Thursday. That includes investments of $400 million to $500 million through fiscal 2015 to build the new Fox Sports 1 and FXX cable networks.
"Content is a growth business," Carey said. "Premium content is just going to get more valuable. Our first priority has to be keeping the content and brands strong."
Carey also said Fox's board authorized a $4 billion share buyback over the next 12 months and an increase in the annual dividend to 25 cents a share from 17 cents a share "on a prospective basis."
Fox shares were up 3.3 percent at $32.87 on Thursday afternoon on the Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Matthew Lewis)