INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER (ISP) AOL announced its first quarterly revenue growth in eight years as the firm posted revenues of $600m.
AOL, perhaps best known for its dial-up business in the 1990s, has been trying to transform itself into an advertising and media company. The firm has finally managed to increase quarterly sales, reporting fourth quarter 2012 revenues of $410.6m, a rise of 13 percent from the same period the prior year, while profits jumped 57 percent to $35.7m.
Although AOL trumpeted its ability to post increasing quarterly revenues for the first time in eight years, the firm saw its full year 2012 revenues drop marginally to $2.19bn from $2.2bn in 2011. Perhaps the biggest surprise in AOL's financial results, given some of its rivals' actions, was the amount of tax the firm pays, with AOL citing an effective tax rate of 47.2 percent.
AOL's web operation, which includes high profile websites such as the Huffington Post, Engadget and Techcrunch, saw its revenue increase by four percent to $213.2m in the fourth quarter.
AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong said, "AOL returned to growth and generated significant value for shareholders in 2012. AOL has strong momentum entering 2013 and is positioned to continue on our growth path by executing our strategy to build the next generation media and technology company."
Although AOL's annual revenues show little change, the fact that the firm is seeing revenues grow in its advertising and content businesses suggests that the company might finally be starting to see its strategy of moving away from internet access services reaping rewards. µ