MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
December 15-31, 2003 Edition Time Warner Cuts
on 2004 Growth
NEW YORK, NY/12/8/ 03–Time Warner Inc. (TWX.N) on Monday announced it expects to achieve its two-year debt reduction target a year ahead of schedule and would now focus on investing for growth in 2004.
Wayne Pace, chief financial officer of the world’s largest media company, said at a UBS Media Week investor conference that the company expects net debt to be $20.5 billion at the end of 2003, a reduction of $4.4 billion at the end of the third quarter. Year-ago debt had reached $30 billion.
Pace said Time Warner had originally planned to cut its net debt to $20 billion by the end of 2004, a target the company now has already achieved.
The CFO said Time Warner now will shift its focus from deleveraging the balance sheet to investing in growth in 2004.
Time Warner has been selling off assets to help cut debt, recently selling Warner Music Group to an investment group for $2.6 billion, after failing to successfully merge its traditional publishing and film units with American Online.
The company anticipates a double-digit increase in operating income for its America Online Internet division in 2004.
Time Warner is the world’s leading media and entertainment company, whose businesses include filmed entertainment, interactive services, television networks, cable systems, publishing and music.