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HBO Max, wireless, fibre boost AT&T fiscal 2021

For the fourth quarter of the year ended 31 December 2021, AT&T posted consolidated revenues of $41.0 billion down 10.4% on an annual basis reflecting said the impact of divested businesses, mainly US Video in the third quarter and Vrio in the fourth quarter, and lower Business Wireline revenues. Excluding impacts of the US Video business and Vrio from both quarters, AT&T calculated consolidated revenues would have totalled $40.6 billion, compared with $39.0 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Operating expenses were $35.7 billion versus $56.4 billion in the year-ago quarter. Expenses declined due to $16.4 billion of non-cash asset impairments in the prior year, the separation of the U.S. Video operations, and impacts of Vrio and other divested businesses. These declines were partially offset by higher WarnerMedia programming, marketing and selling costs, and higher domestic wireless equipment costs, including 3G network shutdown costs.

The net result was a Q4 operating loss $5.3 billion, but this was almost exactly half that posted in the year-ago quarter primarily due to non-cash asset impairments in the prior year. When adjusting for merger-amortisation costs and other items, adjusted operating income was $6.6 billion, compared with $7.8 billion in Q4 2020.

For the full year, FT&T’s consolidated revenues totaled $168.9 billion versus $171.8 billion a year earlier due to the aforementioned headwinds.

The WarnerMedia business line was a beacon in the quarter and the year, with the performance of the growing HBO Max direct-to-consumer service a particular standout.

The results statement showed revenues were $9.9 billion, up 15.4% versus the year-ago quarter, driven by higher content and other revenues, including the partial recovery from prior-year impacts of the pandemic and higher subscription revenues, partially offset by lower advertising revenues. Subscription revenues were $3.8 billion, up 5.4%, primarily reflecting growth of HBO Max. Content and Other revenues were $4.4 billion, up 45.0%, driven by higher TV licensing and theatrical. Yet advertising revenues were $1.6 billion, down 12.9% when compared to the prior year due to lower audiences with tough comparisons to the prior year political environment.

The division revealed that it had ended the quarter with total global HBO Max and HBO subscribers of 73.8 million, up 13.1 million year-on-year. US subscribers totalled 46.8 million, up 5.3 million for the full year. US HBO Max and HBO subscriber ARPU was $11.15 and total fourth quarter revenues grew 15.4%on an annual basis to $9.9 billion. Direct-to-consumer subscription revenues were up 11.5% year-on-year in the fourth quarter. Rapid TV News

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