Page last updated at 12:17 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Time Warner announces $16bn loss

Time Warner office
Time Warner forecast its profit to be unchanged in 2009

US media giant Time Warner has reported a $16bn (11.1bn) operating loss for 2008, blaming it mainly on a $24.2bn writedown of the value of assets.

A year earlier, the owner of internet firm AOL, Warner Bros movie studios and CNN made an operating profit of $8.9bn.

Fourth-quarter operating loss amounted to $22.2bn, down from an profit of $2.3bn a year earlier.

Time Warner results were influenced by the charge related to the shrunken value of Time Warner Cable assets.

Time Warner Cable is the second largest US operator behind Comcast and became a separately traded company in 2007, although Time Warner kept an 84% stake.

"Structurally, we'll complete the Time Warner Cable separation soon," said Time Warner chief executive Jeff Bewkes on Wednesday.

The separation is expected to be completed by 31 March.

Falling advertising sales

Speaking of 2008, Mr Bewkes said that "we achieved most of what we set out to do", despite the ongoing economic downturn.

Global advertising sales have been falling amid the economic slowdown, hitting the whole media sector.

For 2009, Time Warner forecast its earnings to be little changed from 2008.

"We expect to emerge from this downturn in an even stronger competitive position," said Mr Bewkes.

Last week, Time Warner unveiled plans to cut about 700 jobs at AOL, 10% of its workforce.

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