Time Warner and Comcast report higher profits

US media companies Time Warner and Comcast have reported a rise in their fourth quarter profits. The

Time Warner posted a profit of $627m or 53c a share for the fourth quarter. During this period, the company's revenue rose two per cent to $7.14bn. It posted a profit of $2.47bn or $2.07 per share during 2009, compared to a loss of $13.4bn or $11.23 per share during 2008.

Despite sharp declines in Time Warner's home video releases, and its television syndication business, a string of box office successes including The Hangover, The Blind Side, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince helped the media company to swing into a profit. Time Warner had spun off Time Warner Cable and AOL last year, and has been focusing on movies, magazines and TV shows.

Jeff Bewkes, chairman and chief executive of Time Warner, said the company was evolving new business models, to enable customers to buy and read magazines on portable electronic devices. The company is also working to develop a 'TV everywhere' system to allow customers to view its content online.

Comcast recorded a profit of $955m or 33c per share in the fourth quarter. Its full year revenue rose by 3.9 per cent to $35.76bn and the profit in 2009 rose to $3.64bn, compared to $2.55bn in 2008. If Comcast's purchase of a 51 per cent stake in NBC Universal is approved, it is likely to become one of the largest media conglomerates in the US.