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Time Warner’s Cable Nets Prop Up Revenues; Publishing, Films Remain Mixed

The revenue and profits for Time (NYSE: TWX) Warner’s cable networks HBO and Turner remained solid in Q3, as its magazines made gains in advertising that were negated by a drop in subscription dollars, and the film business was unable to find a release to match the huge box office of last year’s Harry Potter movie. Meanwhile, profits fell due to a pre-tax charge $295 million loss related to the payment of some of the company’s bonds.

Time Inc.: Operating income grew 45 percent, mostly thanks to cost-cutting, especially in the area of lower pension expenses. Revenues, however, slipped 1 percent to $901 million. Ad revenues were up a decent 5 percent to $22 million, but a the same time, subscription revs fell 5 percent. Time Inc. experienced a 12 percent drop in the “other” revenues column.

Cable channels: Profits at the company’s TV networks business, the largest of which includes Turner and HBO, were up 23 percent, with revenue rising 9 percent to $3 billion. The increases reflect the general health of TV ad sales and cable subscription dollars generally. Subcription dollars were also up 9 percent, while ad sales grew 2 percent.

Film: Earnings fell 31 percent as revenue was essentially flat at 0.1 percent. Despite the decent showing at the box office for Inception, Time Warner had nothing to match last year’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Hangover, as well as the video game release of Batman: Arkham Asylum.