Time Inc. parent and media behemoth Time Warner (TWX) today announced a first-quarter profit that rose 9.8% from the year-ago quarter, exceeding Wall Street’s expectations. Time Inc.’s magazine business swung to a first-quarter operating profit even as revenue declined slightly. (You can get the press release here.)
Time Inc.’s operating income for the quarter came in at $50 million, vs. an operating loss of $51 million a year ago. The company attributed the swing primarily to cost-cutting initiatives. Revenue fell 1% year over year to $799 million. Ad revenue rose 5%, and subscription revenue climbed 2%, but those gains “were more than offset by declines of 26% ($25 million) in Other revenues.” Domestic magazine subscription revenue declined slightly; overall subscription revenue was bolstered by favorable foreign exchange rates at Time Inc.’s UK consumer publisher, IPC.
The company said that overall revenue rose 5% year over year to $6.3 billion, “reflecting increases at the Networks and Filmed Entertainment segments.”
“Time Warner is off to a great start in 2010,” said Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes in a statement. He attributed the positive results to a recovery in the advertising market and strong home video sales for subsidiary Warner Bros.’ The Blind Side and Sherlock Holmes. He also highlighted the signing of late-night talk-show host Conan O’Brien to TBS and a partnership with CBS related to broadcast of the NCAA tournament.