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Time Warner Posts Best TV Earnings in Entertainment Conglomerate’s History

Time Warner posted better-than-expected earnings on April 29 for the first quarter of 2015, making it the 25th straight quarter that the entertainment conglomerate has done so.

“We got off to a very strong start in 2015,” CEO Jeff Bewkes said in a statement.

The company posted earnings per share of $1.19. That’s above both last year’s figure of 97 cents, and the average Wall Street first-quarter forecast of $1.09. (Those figures all exclude Time Inc., which has been considered a separate company since last year).

Company revenue grew by 5%, slightly more than analysts expected, to $7.1 billion. And altogether, adjusted operating income rose 12% for a company record of $1.8 billion.

The results are a vindication of Bewke’s strategy to slim down the conglomerate in recent years, focusing on its Turner cable channels, HBO and Warner Bros — along with cutting a significant number of jobs.

Turner networks, particularly because of the broadcast of the NCAA basketball tournament, saw a 26% increase in adjusted operating income for its highest quarterly result of all time.

Ad revenue and ratings were both up on Turner channels. That’s despite the fact that Nielsen viewing counts don’t factor in viewing on mobile devices, which is becoming increasingly popular — more than a billion people around the globe now use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, many of which allow for easy television viewing.

Revenue was also increased through higher distribution fees on cable networks, a highly controversial business decision.

HBO also saw a slight increase in revenue, but its adjusted operating profit dropped marginally due to the company’s investments in original programming and marketing of the new HBO Now service.

Overall revenue was up for Warner Bros., supported by strong box-office showings for the film American Sniper, but higher costs led to a slight fall in adjusted operating profit there as well.

Time Warner has said the overall results reaffirm the company’s full-year strategy.

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