The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) Q1 2015 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Apr 30, 2015 • 11:00 am ET

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The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) Q1 2015 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
operator

Good morning, my name is Michelle and I will be your conference operator today. At this time I would like to welcome everyone to the New York Times Company Q1 2015 Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) After the speakers' remarks there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) I would now like to turn the floor over to Ms. Andrea Passalacqua, please go ahead.

Executive
Andrea Passalacqua

Thank you, and welcome to The New York Times Company's first-quarter 2015 earnings conference call. On the call today, we have Mark Thompson, President and Chief Executive Officer; Jim Follo, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Meredith Kopit Levien, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

In addition, our presentation -- will include non-GAAP financial measures, and we have provided reconciliations to the most comparable GAAP measures in our earnings press release, which is available on our website at investors.nytco.com.

With that, I will turn the call over to Mark Thompson.

Executive
Mark Thompson

Thanks Andrea and good morning everyone. The start of 2015 saw us continue to make real progress in our digital business with double-digit year-over-year growth in the first quarter in both digital subscriptions and digital advertising. Print had a more mixed quarter with the headwinds in advertising we saw in the latter part of 2014 continuing through the quarter. Successful cost management contributed to a 5 % increase in the Company's adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share of $0.11 compared to $0.07 in the prior year.

Let me begin with digital subscriptions. We added 47,000 net digital subscribers in the quarter, more than in any quarter in the past two years -- which is particularly pleasing given that our pay model has now reached its fourth anniversary. That quarterly increase brings us to a total of 957,000 paid digital subscribers. The strong digital consumer growth in the quarter was attributable to improved retention, higher traffic to our digital assets and the seasonality of education subscriptions.

The higher traffic is evidence of the effect of the program to develop our audience we began to execute in the second half of 2014. The early results of this program have been very encouraging. U.S. digital traffic for instance in the form of unduplicated unique users across all devices, was up 22% year-over-year in the first quarter to an average of 59 million monthly users. We're convinced there is scope to increase our digital audience much further without diluting the exceptional levels of engagement which we attract.

The results should help boost both our digital subscription and digital advertising businesses. So let me turn now to digital advertising, where we also saw continued momentum in the quarter with year-on-year growth of just under 11%. Mobile, Paid Posts, video and programmatic all contributed to that growth. I also want to add a comment about ad viewability, the industry wide effort currently under way to ensure that advertisers only pay for impressions that have actually been viewed by users.

We support viewability and in common with