AOL Q1 profits plunge 86pc to US$4.7m

4 May 2011

Internet portal giant AOL, which in recent months paid US$315m to acquire The Huffington Post, has reported a 17pc decline in Q1 revenues of €551.4m, down from €664.3m a year ago.

Profits at the online giant fell a massive 86pc from €34.7m to €4.7m. This included US$27.8m in restructuring expenses related to the acquisition of The Huffington Post and US$8.4m in relation to acquisitions made in 2010 and during the first quarter of this year.

The company suffered declines of 11pc in advertising revenues (US$313.7m), a 24pc decline in subscription revenues (US$215.4m) and other revenue streams (US$22.3m).

Global display revenue grew 4pc, marking the first quarter of year-over-year growth at AOL since Q4 2007.

An upbeat CEO Tim Armstrong heralded this as AOL’s return to form as a digital content company.

“Today represents an important milestone in the turnaround of AOL, as global display revenue grew for the first time since Q4 2007,” Armstrong said.

“I am proud of the work completed thus far and we remain focused on accelerating our momentum through continued execution of our strategy to become the premier digital content company,” Armstrong added.

During the quarter, AOL grew video viewers, moving into second position on comScore in March, with subsidiaries like StyleList topping the beauty category on comScore.

The company acquired GoViral and The Huffington Post, aligning all of the company’s content under the newly formed AOL Huffington Post Media Group with Arianna Huffington as editor-in-chief.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years