It also posted strong gains in the fourth quarter, when revenues rose 7% compared with a year ago.
The strong fourth-quarter financial report came a day after 20th Century Fox parent company News Corp. announced its operating income for its most recent fiscal quarter was triple what it was a year ago, pushed up significantly by the success of “Avatar,” which has now generated more box-office revenue than any film in history.
Gains from two major motion picture and television studios with major operations in the Los Angeles area could eventually translate into boosts in employment figures if the companies expand, experts said.
The progress was likely a product of leaner studio staffs and executives’ attention to trimming budgets, said Bruce Ackerman, president and chief executive of the Valley Economic Alliance.
“The cuts that they’ve made are helping them stabilize and helping them to put out the same, if not bigger productions with a little less labor,” Ackerman said. “So its just made them a lot leaner and meaner.”
Time Warner executives stressed they would continue to critically monitor expenses and cutting costs while increasing investments in the company’s core brands and projects.
They expected to increase productions for television, in part because of NBC’s decision to change its late-night lineup, which will offer more opportunities for Warner Bros. to produce scripted dramas, Jeff Bewkes, chairman and chief executive of Time Warner, said in a conference call with investors.
“Demand for high-quality scripted programming seems to be going up and that is right in Warner TV’s sweet spot,” Bewkes said.