New York Times quarterly profit falls as costs rise

Features Reuters

New York Times Co reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit, as higher digital subscription and advertising sales largely balanced a fall in print ad revenue.

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The newspaper publisher's shares rose as much as 7.5 percent in early trading.

New York Times, like many newspaper and magazine publishers, has been trying to enhance its digital offerings to boost revenue from online ads and subscriptions as print ad sales dwindle.

The company's digital ad sales rose 19.3 percent in the fourth quarter, helped by "paid posts," or content marked as advertising, introduced early last year.

Print ad revenue fell 9.2 percent, the third straight quarter of decline.

New York Times said it expected a mid-single digit percentage drop in print ad sales in the current quarter.

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Gannett Co, the publisher of USA Today, reported a 24 percent rise in quarterly revenue on Tuesday as television broadcasting revenue more than doubled. Revenue from the company's print business, which it plans to spin off, fell 6 percent.

Subscription revenue from New York Times' digital-only products rose 13.6 percent.

New York Times' fourth-quarter net income from continuing operations fell 9.6 percent to $35 million, or 22 cents per share, attributable to shareholders, as it incurred costs related to job cuts and spent more on improving its digital offerings.

Excluding items, the company earned 26 cents per share.

Revenue rose slightly to $444.7 million from $443.9 million.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 24 cents per share and revenue of $438 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

New York Times' shares were up 6.7 percent at $13.61 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Abhirup Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr and Kirti Pandey)