AOL Time Warner Loses $4.9 Billion for 2001

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AOL Time Warner yesterday reported a net loss for 2001 of $4.9 billion, or $1.11 per share, compared with a loss of $4.4 billion, or $1.02 per share, a year earlier. The company's full-year results were hampered by a 3 percent decline in advertising revenue and pre-tax merger-related costs.

For the fourth quarter, AOL Time Warner said its net loss was $1.8 billion, or 41 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.1 billion, or 25 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2000.

Revenue for 2001 rose 6 percent to $38.2 billion, from $36.2 billion in 2000, led by a 12 percent increase in subscription revenue to $16.5 billion. Content and other revenue rose 4 percent to $13.2 billion in 2001, the company said. However, advertising and commerce revenue fell 3 percent to $8.5 billion.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 4 percent to $10.6 billion, from $10.2 billion a year earlier. Subscription revenue for the quarter increased 16 percent to $4.4 billion. Content and other revenue rose 4 percent to $4 billion. Advertising and commerce revenue fell 14 percent to $2.2 billion.

The company said its America Online Internet service added 6.5 million members in 2001 and 1.9 million in the fourth quarter. The service ended the year with 33.2 million subscribers. AOL's revenue from subscriptions rose 17 percent in the fourth quarter to $1.4 billion. However, advertising and commerce revenue declined 7 percent in the quarter to $637 million, from $686 million in fourth-quarter 2000. For 2001, AOL's advertising and commerce revenue grew 13 percent to $2.7 billion.

AOL Time Warner also said that its Global Marketing Solutions Group in 2001 started making cross-platform marketing services available to major brands, enabling them to combine AOL Time Warner's print, television and Internet media into campaigns. For the year, the company had agreements with marketers representing more than $1 billion.

The company noted that online purchases by AOL subscribers in the fourth quarter rose more than 72 percent. In the 2001 holiday season alone, AOL subscribers bought more than $7.2 billion online. AOL subscribers spent almost $33 billion in e-commerce transactions in 2001, up 67 percent from the previous year.

AOL Time Warner said it expects revenue growth of 5 percent to 8 percent for 2002. For the first quarter, it expects revenue to remain flat compared with the first quarter of 2001.

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