Television

Q2-2015: Warner Bros revenue growth boosts Time Warner revenues by 8.2%

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BENGALURU: A 14.9 per cent revenue growth in its Warner Bros segment at $3298 million in the quarter ended 30 June, 2015 (Q2-2015) as compared to the $2870 million in Q2-2014 helped boost Time Warner Inc by 8.2 per cent. 

 

The other two segments – Turner and Home Box Office (HBO) also reported revenue growth to the extent of 2.8 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively. Time Warner’s revenue in Q2-2015 was $7348 million as compared to the $6788 million in the corresponding year ago quarter. Adjusted Operating Income grew 15 per cent to $1862 million due to increases at Turner and Warner Bros., partially offset by a decline at HBO. Operating Income increased 19 per cent to $1859 million.

 

Company speak

 

Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said, “We had a very strong second quarter, with revenues up 8 per cent and Adjusted Operating Income growing 15 per cent to a quarterly record of $1.9 billion. Our results were led by Turner and Warner Bros and were achieved at a time when we’re investing aggressively to position the company for continued growth, including the successful launch of HBO NOW, our standalone domestic streaming service. HBO and its sister service Cinemax recently received a combined 131 Primetime Emmy nominations, with a record 126 for HBO - the 15th year in a row that HBO has led in nominations. In addition to being nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, Game of Thrones' fifth season set a new record for viewers of an HBO series.”

 

Bewkes continued, “At Turner, TNT and TBS ranked as the #1 and #2 ad-supported cable networks, respectively, in primetime among adults 18-49, and together with Adult Swim claimed the top 3 spots in primetime among adults 18-34. Cartoon Network was again the only top 3 kids network to grow its 6-11 audience during the quarter and claimed the #2 spot for the first time. And CNN grew primetime viewership in its key 25-54 demo 25 per cent with the help of its award-winning original programming. Warner Bros concluded a very successful upfront, with 62 programs slated for the upcoming television season, including 29 on broadcast networks. That includes a record 20 returning shows and makes Warner Bros. the top supplier of broadcast series again this year. In the quarter, Warner Bros games business also shined with releases of Batman: Arkham Knight and Mortal Kombat X helping make it the top videogame publisher for the first half of the year. Reflecting our commitment to provide direct returns to shareholders, we have returned more than $2.6 billion in dividends and share repurchases year-to-date.”

 

Segment performance

 

Turner

 

Revenues increased 2.8 per cent ($77 million) to $2827 million, benefiting from growth of 48 per cent ($69 million) in Content and other revenues and two per cent ($20 million) in Subscription revenues, partially offset by a decline of one per cent ($12 million) in Advertising revenues. The increase in Content and other revenues was due to the licensing of select Turner original programming to Hulu. Subscription revenues grew due to higher domestic rates and local currency growth at Turner's international networks, partially offset by the impact of foreign exchange rates. Advertising revenues declined due to the impact of foreign exchange rates, partially offset by growth at Turner's domestic businesses and local currency growth at Turner's international networks. The increase in domestic advertising was due to growth at Turner's domestic news businesses and the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship tournament, partially offset by lower delivery at certain domestic networks and the absence of NASCAR programming. Advertising revenue growth was also adversely impacted by fewer NBA playoff games in the quarter.

 

Adjusted Operating Income increased 20 per cent ($190 million) to $1130 million, due to the increase in revenues and lower expenses, including lower programming costs. Programming costs decreased nine per cent primarily due to the absence of NASCAR programming as well as lower syndicated programming expenses as a result of the abandonment of certain programming in 2014. Operating Income increased 22 per cent ($201 million) to $1130 million.

 

Home Box Office

 

HBO revenue increased one per cent ($21 million) to $1438 million, due to an increase of four per cent ($40 million) in subscription revenues, partially offset by a decline of seven per cent ($19 million) in Content and other revenues. Subscription revenues grew due to higher domestic rates, partially offset by lower international revenue, which included the impact of the transfer to Turner of the operation of HBO’s basic cable network in India. The decrease in Content and other revenues reflected lower home entertainment revenues.

Adjusted Operating Income decreased eight per cent ($44 million) to $508 million, as the increase in revenues was more than offset by higher marketing and technology costs, primarily related to the launch of HBO NOW, HBO's stand-alone streaming service. Operating Income decreased seven per cent ($40 million) to $508 million.

 

Warner Bros

 

The revenue increase mentioned above reflects higher videogames and television licensing revenues, partially offset by lower theatrical revenues and the impact of foreign exchange rates. The increase in videogames revenues was primarily due to the releases of Batman: Arkham Knight and Mortal Kombat X. Television licensing revenues benefited from the second-cycle syndication of The Big Bang Theory and the subscription video-on-demand licensing ofSeinfeld. Theatrical revenues decreased primarily due to lower worldwide television licensing revenues of theatrical product and a decline in home entertainment revenues due to the comparison against the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in the prior year quarter.

 

Adjusted Operating Income increased 46 per cent ($108 million) to $344 million, due to the increase in revenues, partially offset by associated film and print and advertising costs, as well as higher theatrical valuation adjustments. Operating Income increased 46 per cent ($107 million) to $341 million.

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