Time Warner: Pretax Income ‘Will Accelerate’ in ’04


Time Warner CFO Wayne Pace told UBS media conference attendees that pretax operating income "will accelerate" in 2004 for every division except the film division, which is having a strong 2003, he said, and will be hard-pressed to sustain similar growth next year. The company’s America Online division will post "double-digit" growth in pretax profit next year.

Pace also said Time Warner is nearly a year ahead of schedule in achieving its goal of reducing debt to $20 billion by the end of 2004. By year-end 2003, net debt will be $20.5 billion, he said. A year ago, it stood at $30 billion. Much of the reduction has been achieved through the sale of assets, including the recent $2.6 billion sale of Warner Music to a group led by Seagram scion Edgar Bronfman Jr. Earlier, Time Warner sold its 50% in Comedy Central to Viacom for $1.23 billion.

Pace also told attendees that Time Warner will meet previous guidance for full year 2003 of mid-single-digit growth in revenues and operating profits.