Time Warner Sees Profit Rise in Q3

NEW YORK: For its third quarter, Time Warner reported net income of $838 million, compared to the $822 million posted a year earlier, as the growth in its cable networks more than offsets declines in its film and TV entertainment business.

Revenue was down slightly, by 3 percent, to $6.84 billion. Operating income was down 1 percent to $1.6 billion.

The company saw a 4-percent gain in revenue at its networks division to $3.3 billion, which includes TNT, TBS, HBO and CNN. This was due to better subscription revenue from cable operators, up 7 percent. Advertising in the segment was down 1 percent. At the film and TV entertainment unit, revenue dipped 12 percent from the prior year to $2.9 billion, which was a tough comparison given the 2011 release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Jeff Bewkes, the chairman and CEO, said: “With one quarter left to go in 2012, we’re on track for another very strong year. The highlight this quarter was the strength of our networks businesses, which delivered double-digit Adjusted Operating Income growth. This performance illustrates that our investments in content and technology are continuing to pay off. We’re experiencing good momentum across most of Turner’s networks. TBS, for instance, was up 35 percent in prime time for adults 18 to 49 this quarter and is now the number one network on cable this year for adults 18 to 34. At HBO, the unmatched volume of its quality original programming was underscored by the 23 Primetime Emmy awards HBO received this year—more than any other network for the 11th consecutive year. With compelling content, technological innovations like HBO GO and support from our affiliates, the subscriber trends at HBO today are the best they’ve been in years.”

Bewkes continued: “Our studio faced difficult comparisons in the third quarter, but Warner Bros. Television is having a terrific broadcast season with a successful mix of new and returning shows. For Warner Bros.’ theatrical business, the story this quarter was The Dark Knight Rises, which has brought in over $1 billion at the global box office, surpassing The Dark Knight. And the studio is off to a great start to the fourth quarter with the critical and audience acclaim for Argo, which we’ll follow with the highly-anticipated release next month of the first installment of The Hobbit. Overall, I’m very confident about how we’re positioned heading into next year and beyond. Reflecting that confidence and our continued commitment to improving shareholder returns, through November 2 we’ve purchased approximately $2.3 billion of our stock this year.”