February 3, 2015 Last Updated 3:37 pm

New York Times Co. ekes out small revenue gain, but severance costs cause drop in profits

The NYT finished the year with 910,000 paid digital subscribers, an increase of 150,000 from the previous year

The New York Times Co. reported earnings before the markets opened today, reporting that revenue rose slightly as revenue from readership remains its bright spot. Advertising revenue, too, remained fairly steady – though it fell 2.1 percent, that is far less than other newspaper companies have reported.

But net income fell as expenses rose. Operating profit was $62.4 million in Q4 of 2014 compared with $68.9 million in the same period of 2013, due mostly to severance costs as the company cut back its staffing levels.

“We continued to build our digital subscriber total in 2014 and finished the year with 910,000 paid digital subscribers, an increase of 150,000 from the previous year, beating our tally of net new additions in 2013 by 25 percent and putting us on track to exceed the one million digital subscriber milestone in 2015,” said Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer.

“The reduction in operating profit for the year was due to our strategic investments in digital and severance costs associated with our long-term focus on cost reduction. We intend to continue to invest in digital growth but will also bear down on costs to defend our profitability.”

The company said that it was able to replace any losses in print readership with digital, with paid subscribers to the NYT’s digital-only subscription products at approximately 910,000 at the end of the year.

Operating costs rose 2.8 percent to $382.3 million from $371.8 million in the fourth quarter, mainly due to severance. Adjusted operating costs increased 0.4 percent to $340.8 million.

NYTCo-earnings-q4-2014

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