Media conglomerate and Redbox antagonist Time Warner enjoyed a healthy fourth quarter of 2009, as revealed by CEO Jeff Bewkes during the company’s recent earnings conference call. With powerful growth coming from its film and television divisions, TW posted a profit of $627 million. In contrast, the company lost $16 billion during the same period in 2008. Time Warner also posted record profits in its film and television units for the full year of 2009.
Here are a few other highlights from the call, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter:
- In the fourth quarter, TV unit OIBDA [Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization] rose 29% on a 4% revenue gain. Film OIBDA jumped 41% as revenue rose 7% thanks to film releases such as “The Blind Side” and “Sherlock Holmes,” as well as DVD releases such as “The Hangover” and the sixth installment of “Harry Potter.” Collins Stewart analyst Thomas Eagan called the film performance ‘the standout’ of the earnings report.
- After record profits in its film unit [in] 2009, Warner Bros. will bring “very strong profits” again this year, Bewkes said without committing to the goal of another record. While the weak DVD market is expected to be somewhat of a drag, more DVD releases, growth in Blu-ray and electronic sell-through, as well as the film slate and a strong outlook for the TV production business will all benefit the unit.
- Asked about film release windows, Bewkes said TW’s day-and-date cable VOD release strategy last year helped solidify the firm’s top rank in the VOD and DVD markets. Offering consumers more choices, while making sure more profitable windows come before less profitable ones is key for TW. While the CEO didn’t give specifics, he said TW and DVD rental kiosk operator Redbox are discussing possible arrangements while their litigation continues.
Just what could those “possible arrangements” be, Insiders? Are we looking at a compact between Redbox and Time Warner similar to the one recently announced by Netflix? Is an end to the litigation in sight?
(via The Hollywood Reporter)