Time Warner Inc. enjoyed the most profitable quarter in its history thanks to an ad recovery and strong movie performance.
Net income rose to $725 million, up from $660 million in the prior period, while revenue rose 5% to $6.3 billion in the quarter, the company's biggest gain in almost two years.
Time Warner's cable TV unit also showed a rise in ad revenue, up 9% or $67 million on the year ago period thanks to stronger scatter pricing and growth at international operations at international operations. The increase is a major sequential improvement compared to fourth quarter when the unit saw a 4% dip in ad revenue.
Profit at the networks unit was up 28% -- or 22%, excluding a $59 billion gain related to an ownership change at HBO Central Europe. Adjusted operating income was $1.1 billion. Programming costs fell 3% because of the timing of licensed programming at HBO and Turner, and original programming at Turner.
Subscription revenue rose 7%, or $131 million, partly due to growth at international channels and favorable foreign exchange rates. Content revenue from program and product sales grew 22%, or $46 million, thanks to HBO hit Entourage. Revenue at the networks unit rose 9%, or $252 million, to $3 billion.