Thursday, July 28, 2016
* Digital ad sales falls for second straight quarter
* Print ad sales drop for eighth straight quarter
* "Already seeing a marked turnaround in July"-CEO
* Shares down 1.2 percent in morning trading (Adds details; updates shares)
July 28 (Reuters) - The New York Times Co reported its second quarterly loss in a row as advertising sales declined, but the publisher said it expects a rebound in digital ad revenue growth in the current quarter.
Digital ad revenue, which accounts for about a third of total ad revenue, dropped 6.8 percent in the April to June period, declining for the second straight quarter.
Print ad revenue fell 14.1 percent, the eighth straight quarterly decline.
"Advertising was tougher in the quarter, particularly on the print side," Chief Executive Mark Thompson said in a statement on Thursday.
"In digital, we saw very strong growth in mobile, video and virtual reality, branded content and programmatic advertising."
However, this was not enough to offset declines in traditional web display, which led to an overall decline in digital advertising, he said.
"We expect that situation to improve in the second half of the year; in fact, we are already seeing a marked turnaround in July," he said.
Like other newspaper and magazine publishers, the Times has found it difficult to cope with a steady decline in print ad revenue in recent years.
In an attempt to overcome this, the company has been pushing into digital offerings, dubbing 2016 "an investment year" and committing to invest more than $50 million over the next three years to boost its digital presence outside the United States.
The Times has also invested in technology and initiatives such as distributing Google Cardboard virtual reality headsets to subscribers.
Thompson, however, had warned in February that operating profit would be under pressure due to its spending on digital initiatives.
The Times posted a net loss of $211,000 attributable to shareholders for the second quarter ended June 26, compared with a profit of $16.4 million a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, it earned 11 cents per share from continuing operations, matching the average analysts estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The Times' shares were down 1.2 percent in morning trading, adding to their 4.7 percent decline this year.
(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr and Savio D'Souza)