AOL records 5 per cent revenue growth with advertising lift as Tim Armstrong reveals global ambitions

AOL saw its revenue grow 5 per cent to $710.3m for the final quarter of 2014 as advertising revenue grew by 8 per cent to $562.2m due to an increase in digital sales.

The New-York based media conglomerate, which publishes the Huffington Post, revealed its AOL Platforms division grow by a fifth in the three months to December as a result of revenue driven byprogrammatic advertising from third parties and AOL Properties, as well as an increase through platform and service fees.

Brand group revenue decreased by 1 per cent to $219.1m, dented by the disposal of shuttered brands such as Patch. The division's search revenue grew by 12 per cent and display by 1 per cent due to price increases, which the company said had partially offset a fall in desktop impressions.

Meanwhile, a 7 per cent decline in revenue was recorded by the Membership group, which reached $194.8m during the final three months of the year, impacted by a year-on-year 5 per cent decline in subscription revenue, while search and display revenue also eroded.

Restructuring costs for the period saw AOL spend $6.3m while pre-tax income was $77m.

During an interview on Bloomberg, chief executive Tim Armstrong revealed his plans for more brands to spread their reach, stating; “Brands like the Huffington Post will become global platforms,” following its plan to expand into Australia, China and Mexico.

The results follow a period of speculation that the company could attempt to merge with Yahoo, which Armstrong rubbished during a panel at Advertising Week New York.

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