Thursday, February 7, 2013

The New York Times Co. reports Q4 spike in profits due to asset sales; total revenue grows 5.2%, print advertising falls 3.1%; digital ad revenue barely grows in 2012

The New York Times Company reported a spike in fourth quarter earnings due to the sale of and the About Group. Net income rose to $176.9 million, a 200 percent increase over the prior year. Though these were one-time transactions, the company was also able to report an increase in total revenue thanks to a 16.1 percent increase in circulation revenue.

Print advertising revenue from the media company's newspapers declined in the period by 5.6 percent, though digital ad revenue grew by 5.1 percent in Q4. Guidance going forward into 2013 is cautious, with the company saying that it expects single digit revenue growth.

The NYT said it now had 668,000 paid digital subscriptions across the company.

"The demonstrated willingness of users here and around the world to pay for the high quality journalism for which The New York Times and the company’s other titles are renowned will be a key building block in the strategy for growth, which we are currently developing and which I will have much more to say about later in the year," Mark Thompson, president and chief executive of the NYT said.

Digital ad revenue came in at $69.0 million, but for the full year the company could barely record any growth in digital advertising, coming in at $214.8 million for 2012 compared with $214.5 million in 2011. Digital ad revenue now accounts for nearly a quarter of all ad revenue, 24.7 percent, up from 22.7 percent – though, obviously, that growth is the result of declines in print, not growth in digital, a continued problem for the media company.