Time Warner has announced that it is to spin off its cable TV business.

The announcement was made as the company published its quarterly results and admitted that its net profit has fallen 36% to $771m (£390m).

This indicates a continuing slide as Time Warner shares have fallen by a third since the start of 2007.

The company, which is claimed to be the world's biggest media company, has now opted to spin off its cable television business in a bid to claw back some cash.

Time Warner Cable is the second largest US operator behind Comcast.

It became a separately traded company last year, but Time Warner kept an 84% stake.

There was no news, however, about AOL, which is Time Warner's online unit, and which reported a net profit decrease of 36%.

There had been rumours of a tie-up with Yahoo - a possible alternative to Microsoft's bid for the web company, but all has gone quiet on this front in recent weeks.