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Time Warner Earnings Fall 10%, But Revenue Rises on Network Growth

Turner advertising surges 31 percent

Time Warner Inc.'s first quarter earnings fell 10 percent, but the company posted a 6 percent increase in revenue because of growth in its networks segment.

The owner of HBO, the Turner networks, and magazines including Time and Sports Illustrated reported net profits of $651 million, or 59 cents a share, which was down from the first quarter of 2010's $725 million, or 62 cents a share. Its first-quarter revenue rose to $6.7 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of 56 cents per share. But revenue topped analysts' forecasts of $6.4 billion.

Filmed entertainment slipped 3 percent to $2.6 billion, while publishing was essentially flat at $798 million.

Network revenues increased 18 percent to $3.5 billion, reflecting 9 percent growth in subscription revenues, 31 percent growth in Turner advertising revenues, and 48 percent growth in content revenues.

Turner's advertising boost came from the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship events, strong domestic pricing, and international expansion. It drove 20 percent growth in the company's overall advertising.

The increase in subscription revenues resulted mainly from higher domestic rates and international expansion and growth. Time Warner credited the content revenue growth to higher sales of HBO’s original programming, including "The Pacific," "Sex and the City" and "Boardwalk Empire."

"We’re off to a solid start this year. We’re on track to meet our financial goals for 2011 and making a lot of progress toward our longer-term objectives," said chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said. "For instance, our continued investment in the highest-quality content is paying off: the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on TBS, TNT and truTV performed even better than we expected and Game of Thrones debuted on HBO to critical acclaim and strong viewership."