Television

Time Warner revenues up 5% to $6.6 billion led by HBO & Warner Bros

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MUMBAI: Time Warner Inc’s revenue in the third quarter ended 30 September, 2015 was up five per cent to $6.6 billion. The revenue growth was led by Home Box Office (HBO) and Warner Bros, which was partially offset by higher intercompany eliminations and a decline at Turner. 

Adjusted Operating Income grew 85 per cent to $1.8 billion due to growth across all operating divisions, reflecting the absence of programming charges incurred in 2014 at Turner and lower restructuring and severance charges across all segments, partially offset by higher intercompany eliminations.

Revenues and Adjusted Operating Income included the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rates of $290 million and $160 million, respectively, in the quarter. Operating Income increased 89 per cent to $1.8 billion.

Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said, “We had another very good quarter, with revenues up five per cent and strong growth in Adjusted Operating Income, which totaled $1.8 billion. Our revenue growth was led by Warner Bros. and Home Box Office, and illustrated how our investments in great content have been paying off in our traditional television businesses, as well as in newer areas such as video games. In September, HBO received a record 43 Primetime Emmy Awards, the most of any network for the 14th  consecutive year. That included 12 awards for Game of Thronessetting a record for a series in a single year,” he added.

The company posted Adjusted Diluted Income per Common Share from Continuing Operations (Adjusted EPS) of $1.25 versus $1.22 for the prior year quarter. Excluding a net tax benefit of $639 million, programming charges at Turner and restructuring and severance charges in the prior year quarter, Adjusted EPS would have been $0.97 in the prior year quarter. Diluted Income per Common Share from Continuing Operations was $1.26 compared to $1.11 in the prior year quarter.

For the first nine months of 2015, Cash Provided by Operations from Continuing Operations reached $3 billion and Free Cash Flow totaled $2.9 billion. As of 30 September, 2015, net debt was $21.2 billion, up from $19.8 billion at the end of 2014, due to share repurchases, dividends and investments and acquisitions, partially offset by the generation of Free Cash Flow.

Segment Performance

Time Warner’s segments performance for the third quarter of 2015 is as follows:

TURNER



Revenues decreased two per cent ($48 million) to $2.4 billion, due to declines of 15 per cent ($18 million) in Content and other revenues, one per cent ($17 million) in Subscription revenues and one per cent ($13 million) in Advertising revenues.

Content and other revenues decreased due to lower subscription video-on-demand (VOD) revenues. The decline in Subscription revenues was due to the impact of foreign exchange rates and a decline in domestic subscribers, partially offset by higher domestic rates and local currency growth at Turner’s international networks. Advertising revenues decreased due to the impact of foreign exchange rates and the absence of NASCAR programming, partially offset by local currency growth at Turner’s international networks. Domestic advertising was flat in the quarter.

Adjusted Operating Income increased 206 per cent ($721 million) to $1.1 billion, as the decline in revenues was more than offset by lower expenses, including decreased programming costs and lower restructuring and severance costs. Programming costs decreased 45 per cent primarily due to the absence of the prior year quarter’s $482 million of charges related to Turner’s decision to no longer air certain programming. Excluding these charges in the prior year, programming costs decreased in the high-single digits mainly due to the absence of NASCAR programming.

Operating Income increased 218 per cent ($735 million) to $1.1 billion.

TNT’s NBA Opening Night doubleheader averaged 2.9 million total viewers, up 24 per cent over last year, and generated double-digit growth across all key demographics. TBS’ Major League Baseball postseason coverage averaged 6.3 million total viewers, up close to 50 per cent compared to last year, and was the network’s most watched postseason ever. For the 30th consecutive quarter, Adult Swim was ad-supported cable’s #1 total day network among adults 18-34, and it was #1 among adults 18-49 in the third quarter. CNN’s recent coverage of the Republican presidential debate garnered over 23 million average viewers - making it CNN’s most watched program ever - and the Democratic presidential debate reached over 15 million average viewers - making it the most watched Democratic debate ever on cable. CNN continued to grow primetime ratings across all key demographics, up 39 per cent and 35 per cent for adults 18-49 and 25-54, respectively, in the third quarter. Cartoon Network was once again the only top 3 kids network to grow ratings in the quarter, and ranked as the #1 ad-supported cable network in total day ratings among kids 6-11.

HOME BOX OFFICE



Revenues increased five per cent ($63 million) to $1.4 billion, due to increases of four per cent ($44 million) in Subscription revenues and 13 per cent ($19 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 reflected higher domestic licensing revenues.

Adjusted Operating Income increased 37 per cent ($139 million) to $519 million, reflecting higher revenues and lower expenses. The decrease in expenses was mainly due to lower restructuring and severance costs as well as decreased distribution and programming costs, partially offset by higher marketing and technology costs. Programming costs decreased six per cent primarily reflecting lower acquired theatrical programming costs. The higher marketing and technology costs related to HBO NOW, HBO’s stand-alone streaming service.

Operating Income increased 37 per cent ($139 million) to $519 million.

WARNER BROS.



Revenues increased 15 per cent ($415 million) to $3.2 billion, reflecting higher video games and television licensing revenues, partially offset by the impact of foreign exchange rates, the absence of revenues from a patent license and settlement agreement in the prior year quarter and lower theatrical revenues. The increase in video games revenues was primarily due to the releases of LEGO Dimensions and Mad Max, as well as carryover revenues from several titles, including Mortal Kombat X and Batman: Arkham Knight. Television licensing revenues benefited from the initial cable and off-network availability of 2 Broke Girls and the initial cable availability and subscription video-on-demand licensing of Person of Interest.

Adjusted Operating Income increased 61 per cent ($147 million) to $388 million, due to the increase in revenues, lower theatrical and video games valuation adjustments and decreased restructuring and severance costs, partially offset by higher print and advertising costs.

Operating Income increased 62 per cent ($148 million) to $385 million.

Season-to-date among adults 18-49: Blindspot and Supergirl ranked as the top two new series, The Voice ranked as the #1 non-scripted series and The Big Bang Theory ranked as the #1 comedy and #2 series overall in primetime on broadcast television. For the first nine months of the year, Warner Bros. ranked as the top US video game publisher, and Mortal Kombat X was the #1 videogame.

CONSOLIDATED NET INCOME AND PER SHARE RESULTS



Third-Quarter Results

Adjusted EPS was $1.25 for the three months ended 30 September, 2015, compared to $1.22 in last year’s third quarter. The increase in Adjusted EPS primarily reflects higher Adjusted Operating Income and fewer shares outstanding, offset in part by higher taxes as a result of the $639 million net tax benefit in the third quarter of 2014 mainly related to the reversal of certain tax reserves in connection with an audit settlement.

For the three months ended 30 September, 2015, the company had Income from Continuing Operations of $1 billion, or $1.26 per diluted common share. This compares to Income from Continuing Operations attributable to Time Warner common shareholders in the third quarter of 2014 of $966 million, or $1.11 per diluted common share.

For the third quarters of 2015 and 2014, the company had Net Income of $1.0 billion and $967 million, respectively.

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