News Corp would do better in 2010 than the previous year thanks to the strong performance of its cable and film businesses, the international media group's head Rupert Murdoch told an Italian newspaper.

In 2009 we had a $3.5 billion operating profit, we will do better in 2010, Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch said in an interview in La Stampa published on Thursday, adding that cable network and film businesses were speeding ahead.

In November, Murdoch said he expected 2010 to be a year of stability and the company forecast its fiscal full- year operating income would grow in the high single to low double-digit percentage range.

News Corp saw its adjusted operating profit plunge 32 percent in the fiscal 2009 year which ended in June from the record $5.3 billion a year earlier.

Murdoch said the 2009 results were hit by a writedown on investment in the Dow Jones news business.

He said he expected advertising to pick up but it would not reach boom levels.

Murdoch said he would continue business in Italy, where News Corp's unit Sky Italia, the country's biggest pay-TV company, is in fierce competition with a lower-cost pay-TV package from Mediaset SpA , owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

If someone thinks News Corp would leave Italy, it's a mistake. I love Italy where I have a considerable investment, and will stay there forever.

Earlier this year, Berlusconi accused Murdoch of mounting a personal attack on him via the London newspaper The Times, owned by News Corp.

I am absolutely not at war with Berlusconi. I feel great affection for him and we have many common positions, Murdoch said.

(Reporting by Svetlana Kovalyova; Editing by Dan Lalor and Jon Loades-Carter)