NYT Digital Posts Record Operating Profit

NEW YORK New York Times Digital, which includes NYTimes.com and Boston.com, today reported that fourth-quarter revenue rose more than 27 percent to $25 million from $19.7 million in the same period a year earlier.

Operating profit more than doubled to a record $7.2 million from $3.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Q4 revenue was up 15 percent from Q3’s $21.8 million, while operating profit grew 26 percent from $5.7 million in the third quarter.

The New York-based online unit of The New York Times Company attributed the boost to higher advertising revenue resulting from increased volume.

For 2003, New York Times Digital saw total revenue increase 23 percent to $88 million from $71.8 million in 2002. Full-year 2003 operating profit rose 147 percent to $20.4 million from $8.3 million the year before.

The year-over-year growth was partly driven by incremental revenue derived from the April introduction of the half-page ad unit. The 336 x 850 ad, which runs on editorial pages and allows for rich media, generated $1.2 million last year from advertisers like Cadillac, Brooks Brothers, Dunkin’ Donuts and Song Airways.

The good performance also stems from a significant boost in movie studio advertising, which grew 94 percent last year.

The results were released as a part of The New York Times Company’s fourth-quarter and full-year earnings report.