Lower ad sales, higher costs pull down New York Times profit

Tue May 3, 2016 1:47pm EDT
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By Rishika S

(Reuters) - The New York Times Co's (NYT.N: Quote) adjusted operating profit fell 13 percent in the first quarter as ad sales declined in its print and digital businesses and costs rose.

Shares of the publisher, which is spending heavily to strengthen its advertising technology, fell 4.4 percent to $12.32 in afternoon trading on Tuesday.

The Times, like many other newspaper and magazine publishers, has been struggling with a steady decline in print ad revenue for the past couple of years.

To make up for sliding print ad sales, the company has been pushing into digital offerings with investments in technology and initiatives such as distributing Google Cardboard virtual reality headsets to subscribers.

The Times plans to invest more than $50 million over the next three years to strengthen its digital presence outside the United States.

Its adjusted operating costs rose 1 percent in the first quarter. Print ad revenue declined 9 percent, the seventh straight quarter of fall.

Digital ad revenue, which accounts for about a third of total ad revenue, fell 1.3 percent.

Chief Executive Mark Thompson said in February that 2016 would be "an investment year," in which operating profit would be under pressure due to spending on its digital business.   Continued...

The sun peaks over the New York Times Building in New York August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid