Time Warner Posts Higher Q3 Results for TV Networks Unit Amid Ad Gains

Film revenue flat, profit down due to year-ago strength of The Hangover and Harry Potter release

NEW YORK - Time Warner early Wednesday reported third-quarter profit gains at its TV networks and magazine businesses, offset in part by weaker film results due to tough year-ago comparisons.

Overall, the company reported a slight revenue gain and higher profits from operations. Its net profit declined 21% mostly due to a recent buyback of debt, but exceeded Wall Street expectations.

Time Warner's quarterly profit of $522 million was down from $662 million in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 2% to $6.4 billion driven by advertising revenue growth of 9%, including 10% at its Turner cable networks.

Based on the results, the company once again raised its full-year growth forecast for adjusted earnings per share to the high 20s percentage range off the 2009 figure of $1.83. It had previously predicted growth of at least 20%.

Said TW chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes: "We remain on track for a very strong year."

The film unit saw strong theatrical performance from Inception and higher TV license fees, including for the off-network availabilities of Two and a Half Men and The New Adventures of Old Christine. But their results were no match for the year-ago quarter, which had benefited from the theatrical releases of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Hangover. Film unit revenue was unchanged at $2.8 billion as adjusted operating profit fell 28% to $209 million. Management said for the year to-date, home entertainment revenue, which has been challenged at many companies in recent years, is up.

TV business adjusted operating profit rose 17% to $1.1 billion on a 9% revenue gain to $3 billion.