Time Warner profit beats as revenue rises in Turner, HBO units

Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:36pm EST
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By Sai Sachin R and Lehar Maan

(Reuters) - Time Warner Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher subscription fees for channels under its Turner Broadcasting and HBO units.

Revenue from Turner, which owns channels such as CNN, TNT and Cartoon Network, rose 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter. Revenue from HBO, whose popular shows include "Game of Thrones" and "True Detective", increased 6.2 percent.

The two businesses together account for more than half of Time Warner's total revenue.

The company's shares were little changed at $80.76 in afternoon trading.

"Subscription revenue growth will slow materially this year before re-accelerating well into the double digits in 2016 and beyond," Chief Financial Officer Howard Averill said on a conference call.

A stronger dollar is expected to hurt subscription revenue to some extent, he said.

Time Warner cut jobs in its Turner unit last year to reduce costs and spun off its publishing business Time Inc to focus on its more profitable broadcasting businesses.

Time Warner is now a "much leaner, faster, quicker organization," Topeka Capital Markets analyst David Miller told Reuters on Wednesday.   Continued...

A woman walks past the Time Warner Center near Columbus Circle in Manhattan, New York July 16, 2014. REUTERS/Adrees Latif