Cable TV

FY-2015: Time Warner revenue up 2.8%

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BENGALURU: Time Warner Inc reported 2.8 per cent growth in revenue for the year ended 31 December, 2015 (current year, FY-2015) at $28,118 million as compared to the $27,349 million in FY-2014. Adjusted Operating Income increased 18.7 per cent in the current year to $6,923 million as compared to $5,833 million while Operating Income increased 14.9 per cent to $6,865 million in the current year as compared to $5,975 million in the previous year.

Time Warner attributes overall revenue growth to growth across all operating divisions. It says that the growth in Adjusted Operating Income benefited from lower programming charges at Turner and restructuring and severance charges across the company, partially offset by a swing in inter-segment eliminations. It says further that Revenues and Adjusted Operating Income included the unfavourable impact of foreign exchange rate.

Time Warner chairman and chief executive officer Jeff Bewkes said, “We had another very successful year in 2015, demonstrating once again Time Warner’s ability to deliver strong financial performance as well as creative and programming excellence. Revenues grew three per cent and Adjusted Operating Income was up 19 per cent. All three of our operating divisions increased revenue and profits while also investing to capitalize on the shift to on-demand viewing and growing worldwide demand for the very best video content. Warner Bros. had its best year ever in videogames, led by Mortal Kombat X and Batman: Arkham Knight, and remained the number one supplier of broadcast television programming, including the biggest new hit of the TV season in Blindspot. As we embark on what promises to be a very strong year for Warner Bros. theatrically, Mad Max: Fury Road and Creed received a combined 11 nominations for the 88th Academy Awards.”

Bewkes continued, “Home Box Office grew subscribers both on its linear networks and through HBO Now, our new stand-alone streaming service. Once again, HBO distinguished itself with the combination of the biggest Hollywood hits and best original programming. In 2015, HBO received 43 Primetime Emmys, the most in a single year by any network in at least 25 years — led by a record 12 Emmys for Game of Thrones. Turner continued to prove its tremendous value to its audiences, distributors, and advertisers with TBS, TNT and Adult Swim all ranking among ad-supported cable’s top 10 networks in primetime among adults 18-49 for the year. CNN was the fastest-growing top 40 cable network in its key demographic in the U.S. for the year, and Cartoon Network was the only top 3 kids network to grow ratings. Further demonstrating our commitment to shareholder returns, during 2015 we returned $4.8 billion to our shareholders through share repurchases and dividends, and this morning announced a 15 per cent increase to our dividend and a new $5 billion share repurchase program.”

Turner

Revenues increased 1.9 per cent ($200 million) to $10,596 million in FY-2015 as compared to $10,396 million, benefiting from increases of 16 per cent ($88 million) in Content and other revenues, two per cent ($69 million) in Advertising revenues and one per cent ($43 million) in Subscription revenues. Time Warner says that the increase in Content and other revenues was due to higher subscription video-on-demand revenues, primarily from licensing select Turner original programming to Hulu.

Advertising revenues benefited from domestic growth, primarily due to Turner’s news business, and local currency growth at Turner’s international networks, partially offset by the impact of foreign exchange rates. The increase in Subscription revenues was due to higher domestic rates and local currency growth at Turner’s international networks, partially offset by the impact of foreign exchange rates and lower domestic subscribers.

Adjusted Operating Income increased 32.3 per cent ($1 billion) to $4,110 million in the current year as compared to $3,106 million primarily due to lower programming and restructuring and severance expenses. Programming costs declined 11 per cent due to a decrease in programming charges ($395 million). Excluding the charges from both years, programming costs declined in the low single digits primarily due to lower syndicated programming expenses as a result of the abandonment of certain programming in 2014 and the absence of NASCAR programming, partially offset by higher costs associated with airing the MLB playoffs.

Operating Income increased 38.4 per cent ($1,133 million) to $4,087 million. The current and prior years included $17 million and $137 million, respectively, of foreign currency says Time Warner.

Home Box Office

Revenues increased four per cent ($217 million) to $5,615 million, due to increases of four per cent ($170 million) in Subscription revenues and six per cent ($47 million) in Content and other revenues. Subscription revenues grew primarily due to higher domestic rates, partially offset by lower international revenues, which included the impact of the transfer to Turner of the operation of HBO’s basic cable network in India. The increase in Content and other revenues primarily reflects higher licensing revenues, partially offset by lower home entertainment revenues.

Adjusted Operating Income rose 5.2 per cent ($88 million) to $1,878 million in FY-2015 as compared to $1,790 million in FY-2014, reflecting the higher revenues partially offset by increased expenses. The growth in expenses was mainly due to higher marketing and technology costs related to HBO Now, HBO’s stand-alone streaming service, as well as higher programming costs, partially offset by lower restructuring and severance costs. Programming costs grew 3 per cent reflecting higher original programming expenses, including programming charges.

Operating Income increased 5.2 per cent ($92 million) to $1,878 million in the current year as compared to Rs 1,786 million in the previous year.

Warner Bros.

Revenues increased 3.7 per cent ($466 million) to $12,992 million in FY-2015 as compared to $12,576 million, reflecting higher videogames and television revenues, partially offset by lower theatrical and home entertainment revenues as well as the impact of foreign exchange rates.

The increase in videogames revenues was mainly due to the releases of Mortal Kombat X, LEGO Dimensions and Batman: Arkham Knight. Television revenues increased primarily due to higher licensing revenues, including from the domestic availabilities of 2 Broke Girls, The Big Bang Theory, Person of Interest, Friends and Seinfeld. Theatrical revenues declined as the prior year included revenues from the final two instalments of The Hobbit trilogy as well as The LEGO Movie and Godzilla.

Adjusted Operating Income increased 15 per cent ($187 million) to $1.4 billion, reflecting higher revenues as well as lower restructuring and severance charges and related cost-savings.

Operating Income increased 22.2 per cent ($257 million) to $1,416 million. The prior year included a $36 million foreign currency charge related to the re-measurement of Warner says Time Warner.

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