Market: Warner Bros Discovery in loss in Q4 with strikes in Hollywood

(Reuters) – Warner Bros. Discovery reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss on Friday, as the impact of two Hollywood strikes and a weak advertising market weighed on the group’s profits.

Film studios are struggling to recover from a long strike by actors and screenwriters at the end of 2023 which brought production to a grinding halt and caused the postponement of several major projects.

On the New York Stock Exchange, Warner Bros. Discovery shares plunged 10% in pre-market trading.

The company, formed from the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, reported fourth-quarter revenue of $10.28 billion, below analysts’ expectations of $10.35 billion, according to LSEG data. .

Excluding exceptional items, the group posted a loss of $0.16 per share, higher than analysts’ expectations, who were expecting a loss of $0.07.

Advertising revenue in the cable network segment fell 12% to $1.95 billion.

The group said it had 97.7 million customers for its video-on-demand (“streaming”) service at the end of the fourth quarter, including 1.3 million subscribers from the acquisition of BluTV, compared to 95.1 million in the previous quarter.

The group is counting on the theatrical release of the film “Dune 2” in March to extend the box office results generated by “Barbie” last year.

(Reporting Samrhitha Arunasalam in Bangalore, French version Dimitri Rhodes, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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