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Time Warner profits rise

February 4, 2010

Time Warner said its net income rose to $627 million, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a $16 billion loss in the year-earlier quarter (based mainly in writing down AOL value).

The company said adjusted operating income rose 35 per cent to $1.5 billion, matching analysts’ expectations. Sales rose 2 per cent to $7.3 billion.

Time Warner’s television networks, which include CNN and other Turner programming, also performed well in the quarter. Sales grew 4% on an 11 per cent rise in cable subscriptions, which more than offset a 4% drop in advertising sales.

Meanwhile, in its first quarterly filing since splitting from Time Warner, AOL Inc. said that it swung to a profit in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. The company reported net income of $1.4 million. That compares with a loss of $1.9 billion in the year-ago quarter.

There were sharp declines in AOL’s subscriber base. Subscription revenue plunged 28 per cent, while advertising sales were down 8 per cent. The company continued to lose subscribers as users flock to higher speed Internet connections. AOL’s subscription base fell 27 per cent to about 5 million from 6.9 million a year earlier.

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