“We’ve continued to make encouraging progress and are seeing far lower monthly churn than a few years ago,” he said.
Digital advertising revenue increased 14 percent last year, to $238 million. In the last three months of the year, digital advertising revenue rose 9 percent, to $84 million; it now represents 46 percent of the company’s total advertising revenue.
With more than $600 million in digital revenue in 2017, the company drew closer to reaching its goal of $800 million by 2020.
The Times, however, continued to face challenges in print advertising. In 2017, print advertising revenue fell 14 percent, to $320 million. Print advertising revenue for the fourth quarter dropped 8 percent, to $98 million. The company said its overall ad revenue for the year fell 4 percent, to $559 million. Ad revenue for the quarter dropped 1 percent.
“We still regard advertising as an important revenue stream,” Mr. Thompson said, “but believe that our focus on establishing close and enduring relationships with paying, deeply engaged users, and the long-range revenues which flow from those relationships, is the best way of building a successful and sustainable news business.”
Adjusted operating costs rose to $376 million for the quarter, from $344 million.
Adjusted operating profit rose to $108 million for the quarter, compared with $96 million for the same period a year earlier. Operating profit fell to $23 million for the quarter, from $56 million, in part because of pension settlement charges and higher operating costs.
The company reported a $58 million net loss for the quarter.
The last quarter of 2017 was marked by significant change at the newspaper. The former publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., said he was passing the leadership reins to his son, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, who assumed the title on Jan. 1. The company also continued renovations to its Manhattan headquarters, with its employees now consolidated on fewer floors.
In a separate announcement, on Wednesday, The Times said it had reached a multiyear agreement to print and distribute Newsday’s products out of the company’s plant in Queens.