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AOL performance boosts Time Warner's revenue

Time Warner reported a 9% climb in its first-quarter revenue for 2004, aided by its network and filmed entertainment divisions,...

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Time Warner reported a 9% climb in its first-quarter revenue for 2004, aided by its network and filmed entertainment divisions, while also citing improved performance from its America Online (AOL) internet division.

Time Warner netted $10.1bn (£5.7bn) in revenue for the quarter compared with $9.2bn a year ago.

Net income jumped from $396m in the first quarter of 2003 to $961m in the latest quarter.

In addition to benefiting from continued growth in its film and cable properties, Time Warner also pinned its success on the stabilisation of AOL, which has managed to offset narrowband subscriber losses with additional broadband subscribers.

AOL reported total operating income of $277m (£156m), compared with $194m a year ago on revenue which remained flat at $2.2bn.

Operating income before depreciation and amortisation rose 21%, from $404m in the first quarter of 2003 to $489m in the most recent quarter.

However, AOL had lost 237,000 subscribers during the quarter to end the period with 24 million. Despite this, total subscription revenue was up $21m, because of favourable foreign currency exchange rates at AOL Europe and the expansion of AOL broadband services, Time Warner said.

Subscription in the AOL Europe division grew by 38,000 during the quarter to 6.4 million members.

Time Warner said it continued to slash its net debt during the quarter, reducing it from $22.7bn as of 31 December 2003 to $18.8bn at 31 March from the sale of several sports franchise properties.

Scarlet Pruitt writes for IDG News Service

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