AOL earnings see net income rise but revenues slip

AOL saw a rise in its net income but a slide in revenue during the fourth quarter of 2010.

The company reported earnings of $66.2 million, compared with $1.4 million in the same period a year ago. However, revenue fell 26 percent to $596 million.

It put down the fall in revenue to restructuring costs following the aftermath of its divorce from Time Warner. Slides in advertising sales and dial-up subscriptions also contributed to the loss and the company also said that selling off “unprofitable units” had also caused a decline in sales.

Overall AOL ad revenue was down 29 percent and display was down 14 percent,

However, the poor performance hasn’t phased the AOL marketing machine, with Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO, approving a quote in which he says: “I am very proud of what we accomplished in 2010 as we began the year with a significant restructuring of AOL and ended the year with a significantly improved balance sheet, a number of exciting new products and a new culture focused on winning.

 “We have set aggressive goals for ourselves in 2011 in pursuit of capturing the growing opportunity ahead of us.”

That hasn’t stopped business analysts from criticising the figures.

Henry Blodget Tweeted: “Most of AOL’s ad revenue plunge came from search (which is 100% profit) and closed products, but even AOL’s core US display business, the one it is betting what’s left of the company on, shrank in Q4.”

However he added: “On a positive note, AOL still generating $300mm of cash a year and has $800mm in bank.”