AOL sees revenue growth for first time in eight years


US internet firm AOL has reported its first year-on-year revenue growth for eight years, boosted by strong search and third-party network advertising sales, sending its share price higher.

Total revenue reached $600m (£380m) in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 4% on the previous year and well ahead of analysts' forecasts of $574m.

Net profit jumped 57% to $35.7m.

AOL has struggled to reinvent itself as a media and news group since its spin-off from Time Warner in 2009.

In the fourth quarter, advertising revenue - a key measure for the company as it moves away from subscription-based dial-up services to focus on its media outlets such as the Huffington Post - rose 13% to $410.6m.

Subscription revenue fell 10% to $174.2m.

For the year, total revenue was flat at $2.2bn while net profit reached $1.05bn, compared with just $13.1m in 2011.

"AOL returned to growth and generated significant value for shareholders in 2012," said chairman and chief executive Tim Armstrong.

"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."

AOL shares closed up 7.4% at the market close in Wall Street on Friday.

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