Time Warner numbers up on higher subscription, content fees

BENGALURU: Time Warner Inc (Time Warner) reported increase in revenue and operating income due to growth across these parameters by all its businesses-Turner, Home Box Office (HBO) and Warner Bros-for the year and quarter ended 31 December 2017 (FY 2017, the year under review; Q4 2018, the quarter under review). Time Warner’s total revenue for FY 2017 increased by 6.7 per cent to USD 31,271 million from USD 29,318 million in FY 2016. Total revenue expanded by 9.1 per cent year-over year (y-o-y) for Q4 2017 to USD 8,611 million from USD 7,891 million in Q4 2016. Operating income increased by 4.9 per cent in FY 2017 to USD 7,920 million from USD 7,547 million in FY 2016. Operating income in Q4 2018 increased by 12.8 per cent yoy to USD 1,907 million.

The company says in its investor release that revenue in FY 2017 benefitted from increases of 13 per cent (USD752 million) in subscription revenue and 11 per cent (USD74 million) in content and other revenue, partially offset by a decrease of 2 per cent (USD109 million) in advertising revenue. The increase in subscription revenue was due to higher domestic rates and growth at Turner’s international networks, partially offset by lower domestic subscribers. Content and other revenue increased due to higher licensing revenue. The decline in advertising revenue was primarily due to lower delivery at Turner’s domestic entertainment networks and the comparison to Turner’s networks airing the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship and Final Four games in the prior year, partially offset by increase in Turner’s news businesses and growth in its international networks.

Operating income in FY 2017 improved due to the increase in revenue, partially offset by higher expenses, including increased programming and marketing costs. Programming costs grew by 12 per cent primarily due to higher costs related to the first year of Turner’s new agreement with the NBA. The increase in marketing costs was mainly to support original series on Turner’s domestic entertainment networks.

Revenue in Q4 2017 grew due to due to increases of 14 per cent (USD 204 million) in subscription revenue, 32 per cent (USD 55 million) in content and other revenue and 2 per cent (USD 26 million) in advertising revenue. Subscription revenue benefitted from higher domestic rates and growth at Turner’s international networks, partially offset by lower domestic subscribers. Content and other revenue increased primarily due to higher licensing revenue. The increase in advertising revenue was due to higher revenue associated with MLB postseason games and growth at Turner’s international networks, partially offset by a decline at Turner’s news businesses related to the comparison to last year’s US presidential election.

Increase of operating income in Q4 2017 reflected revenue growth partially offset by higher expenses, including increased programming costs. Programming expenses grew by 10 per cent mainly due to higher costs associated with airing MLB post-season games.

Time Warner chairman and chief executive officer Jeff Bewkes said: “We had another very successful year in 2017, achieving our financial goals thanks to the great creative and programming excellence across Time Warner. All three of our operating divisions increased revenue and profits while also investing to capitalize on the growing demand for the most creative and compelling content as well as new ways to deliver it to audiences worldwide. Warner Bros. had its best year ever at the global box office with its films grossing over USD5 billion in box office receipts, led by hits like Wonder Woman, It and Dunkirk, which received eight Academy Award nominations, including for Best Picture. Warner Bros. also remains the number 1 supplier of television shows for the broadcast networks, and saw continued growth in games with franchise releases Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Injustice 2.”

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