Time Warner Results Lifted by Game of Thrones, LEGO Movie


NEW YORK: Time Warner reported a 9-percent increase in quarterly revenue, helped by growth in its Warner Bros. movie studio business, notably with The LEGO Movie, and premium TV service HBO, thanks in part to the popularity of Game of Thrones.

Revenues for Q1 reached $7.5 billion, up from the $6.94 billion reported a year ago. Net income rose to $1.29 billion, compared to the $754 million in the prior-year period.

Without including results from Time Inc. (which it is in the process of spinning off), revenue increased 10 percent to $6.8 billion, due to growth at Warner Bros., Turner and HBO. At Turner, revenues rose 5 percent to $2.6 billion, thanks to growth of 7 percent in subscription revenues and 5 percent in ad revenues, partially offset by a decline of 15 percent in content revenues. At HBO, revenues were up 9 percent to $1.3 billion, with increases of 8 percent in subscription revenues and 13 percent in content revenues. Revenues at Warner Bros. increased 14 percent to $3.1 billion, mainly due to a strong theatrical slate led by The LEGO Movie and 300: Rise of an Empire.

Jeff Bewkes, the chairman and CEO, said: “We are off to a very strong start in 2014, with results that demonstrate both the returns we can achieve on our investments in great storytelling and the growth potential of our businesses. Excluding Time Inc., which we expect to spin off as an independent publicly-traded company this quarter, we grew first-quarter revenues by 10 percent, adjusted operating income by 12 percent, and adjusted EPS by 26 percent.

"In the first quarter, Warner Bros. picked up where it left off after a record-breaking year in 2013, with The LEGO Movie launching yet another franchise for us and leading all releases at the domestic box office. Combined with its promising slate of movies for the rest of the year and strong lineup of TV shows to be unveiled at the upfronts, Warner Bros. is positioned to have another excellent year in 2014.

"Home Box Office continues to be red hot, led by the debut of True Detective, the most-watched freshman series in HBO’s history. And the season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones on April 6 drew HBO’s largest audience since The Sopranos finale. Turner also made history by bringing the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four to cable for the first time ever. The success of the NCAA Tournament also helped TBS maintain its position as ad-supported cable’s number one network in primetime among adults 18-34 and 18-49. It also showcased the importance and vibrancy of our TV Everywhere initiatives, with a more than 40-percent increase in streams for our March Madness Live service over last year. Another standout at Turner was Adult Swim, which again finished the quarter as the number one ad-supported cable network in total day for Adults 18-34. And CNN reaffirmed that it is the place the world goes for authoritative coverage during major news events, with delivery in its key demographic up over 50 percent in March. Further demonstrating our commitment to shareholder returns, during the quarter we returned almost $1.3 billion to our shareholders in the form of share buybacks and dividends.”