Time Warner Inc. expects double-digit cash-flow growth for
the rest of the year, according to one top executive speaking at an industry conference
Time Warner senior vice president Joan Summer, speaking at
the Bank of America Securities investor conference in San Francisco last week, said growth
percentages for cash flow -- or earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA)
-- are in the mid-teens compared with last year.
She added that Time Warner cut its operating costs this
year by $800 million compared with 1996, and savings should rise to about $1 billion in
At the cable networks, which include Home Box Office and
Turner Broadcasting System Inc. -- cash-flow growth of 20 percent is expected
The company's cable systems, which have roughly 12.9
million subscribers, should grow cash flow by 10 percent year-over-year. About 85 percent
of its cable systems should also be digital-capable by the end of the year.
Summer also predicted that Road Runner -- the
Internet-over-cable service jointly owned by Time Warner, MediaOne Group Inc., Microsoft
Corp., Compaq Computer Corp. and Advance/Newhouse -- would hit 500,000 subscribers by the
end of the year. Road Runner currently has about 320,000 customers.
Time Warner spokesman Edward Adler said Summer's comments
reaffirmed the company's predictions at the end of the second quarter of this year.
"We've always been seeing the type of growth we planned for in the second quarter and
the first quarter," he added.
After normalizing for the effects of one-time gains, Time
Warner Cable's internal EBITA growth in the second quarter was 11 percent, and it was 10
percent for the first half of the year.
At HBO and TBS, EBITA growth was 16 percent and 19 percent,
respectively, during the second quarter.