After reporting a record $98.7 billion net loss for 2002, AOL Time Warner
Inc. executives said they don't expect the business to begin growing any time
CEO Richard Parsons predicted earnings before interest, taxes, debt and
amortization to be flat this year.
Factors contributing to stagnant growth include an expected 15 percent to 25
percent cash-flow decline this year at America Online Inc. and growth in its
cable division of 'high-single to low-double-digits -- lower than cable's
history,' Parsons said.
AOL Time Warner took a $44.5 billion impairment charge during the fourth
quarter, which included a $10.5 billion charge from its cable unit, which the
company said reflects the condition of the industry, 'as evidenced by the
continuing declining stock prices of comparable cable-television MSOs.'
Nonetheless, Time Warner Cable had a solid quarter, with EBITDA growing
15 percent to $753 million on $1.8 billion in revenue.
The operator added 984,000 net digital subscribers in 2002 and 1 million
Revenue at AOL Time Warner's networks division jumped 12
percent to $2.1 billion.