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AOL haunts Time Warner's Q2

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Ridiculously unwieldy web/telecoms/publishing/TV/music/film production giant Time Warner continues to be tormented by its dial-up Banquo, AOL. The group today posted total profits that were dragged down 26 per cent by declining sales.

Group profits were $792m for the second quarter, down from $1.07bn a year ago, but slightly beating market expectations. Total revenue rose five per cent to $11.56bn.

Execs confirmed widely-trailled plans to split AOL's mismatched ISP and web advertising units by early next year. It's hoped the move will make both a more palatable swallow for any acquirer, as Time Warner bids to offload the businesses.

AOL revenues fell 16 per cent to $1.1bn. Dial-up revenues continue to evaporate. Q2 2008 sent $200m less in subscriptions through the Time Warner till than during the same period a year earlier. Some 604,000 users closed down their accounts.

At two per cent, revenue growth at AOL's webby advertising business was meanwhile nowhere close to making up for the shortfall. Like every other player in the web ad network game, it has been suggested as a possible fit for Yahoo! instead of Microsoft.

Time Warner Cable, which is being spun out to give beleaguered Time Warner shareholders a payday, performed better than AOL. Revenues were up seven percent to $4.3bn from gains in broadband, digital phone and TV subscriptions. ®

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