The New York Times Company Reports 2021 First-Quarter Results

The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) announced today first-quarter 2021 diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of $.24 compared with $.20 in the same period of 2020. Adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations (defined below) was $.26 in the first quarter of 2021 compared with $.17 in the first quarter of 2020.

Operating profit increased to $51.7 million in the first quarter of 2021 from $27.3 million in the same period of 2020 and adjusted operating profit (defined below) increased to $68.1 million from $44.3 million in the prior year, as higher digital-only subscription revenues and, to a lesser extent, higher digital advertising revenues more than offset lower print advertising, print subscription and other revenues.

Meredith Kopit Levien, president and chief executive officer, The New York Times Company, said, “The Times finished the first quarter with more than 7.8 million paid subscriptions across our digital and print products, more than 100 million registered users, and an average weekly audience of 76 million readers. That foundation, plus our unmatched journalistic breadth and a market of at least 100 million people who are expected to pay for English-language journalism, grounds our conviction that we can substantially and profitably scale paid subscriptions over time.

“We recorded a significant improvement in profitability in the first quarter, thanks to the size and strength of our current digital subscription base and an improvement in digital advertising. Total digital subscription revenue grew by 38 percent and we added 301,000 net new digital subscriptions across News, Cooking, Games and Audm, with 167,000 net new digital News subscriptions.

“The fundamental drivers of our business — audience, registered readers, and subscriber engagement — are stronger than in 2019 and position us well for long-term growth. In February and March, our audiences declined from their historic highs last year, and we saw fewer net subscription additions in the latter part of the quarter. We expect moderated growth to continue through the second quarter, traditionally our softest of the year. With lower forecasted second quarter performance, we now expect annual total net subscription additions to be in the range of our 2019 performance, which, prior to 2020, was our best year for net additions.

“We’ve made a sizable and sustained investment in our journalistic engine — an engine that powers the largest and most successful digital subscription business in journalism. While we don’t know which storylines will drive the next big news cycle, we do know that the size of our newsroom, its range of expertise, and our continued investment in meeting more needs position us to capture that demand, whatever its source.”
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