CEO Denies Any Immediate Plans to Sell AOL

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Time Warner released strong first-quarter results yesterday with profits doubling on healthy contributions from its film and cable units and America Online.

Time Warner's net income was $961 million, up from $396 million for the same period last year. Revenue was up 9% at $10.1 billion compared with $9.2 billion for the first quarter of 2003.

During a conference call with analysts, Time Warner Chairman-CEO Richard Parsons indicated the company was not about to sell AOL, which accounts for around 20% of the company's overall revenues.

Confidence in AOL's 'upside'
When asked about the future of AOL as a part of Time Warner, Mr. Parsons responded, "What I'm not going to do is lay out for you where it fits and how it fits. What I will say is that we have a lot of confidence that this business has a lot of upside." He added that AOL was catching its stride. "If you were to conclude from that, we are not likely to move quickly to realize our value, you would be right."

While AOL's revenues were described by the company as essentially flat, operating income grew in part because of favorable exchange rates at AOL Europe and the growth of broadband. Subscription revenues rose 1%, while advertising revenues decreased 5% to $214 million from $226 million. Total members for the AOL brand service decreased 237,000 to 24 million.

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