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TIME WARNER Q3 PROFIT UP
AS MUSIC SAGS

Network, Cable TV Surge as WMG, AOL Bum Out
Time Warner, having recently dropped the “AOL” from its name, this morning reported third-quarter earnings of $541 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with $57 million, or one cent per share, a year earlier, thanks to increases at its network and cable TV divisions.

Music and America Online, however, suffered losses. Warner Music Group saw third-quarter operating income drop from $22 million a year earlier to a loss of $1 million. Revenue for the quarter dipped to $958 million from $983 million in 2002.

For the first nine months, WMG has suffered an operating loss of $9 million, compared to operating income of $71 million a year ago. Revenue for the period, however, increased slightly to $3.90 billion from $3.83 billion a year earlier.

The company says the decreases were “driven mainly by lower new release and catalog sales, reflecting declines in the worldwide recorded music industry.”

AOL, meanwhile, saw a 5 per cent drop in revenues to $2.11 billion for the quarter, thanks to falling advertising sales and subscriber numbers. Operating income dropped to $150 million from $161 million a year earlier. For the first nine months, AOL revenue is $6.44 billion, down from $6.77 billion in 2002. Similarly, operating income is $554 million, down from $609 million a year ago.

In other Time Warner news, the New York Times reports that the SEC has subpoenaed former AOLTW Chairman Steve Case and current TW Chairman/CEO Richard Parsons, as well as other executives, as part of its ongoing investigation into AOL’s dealings with Bertelsmann and possible accounting irregularities arising from the two comapanies’ ties.
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