The New York Times Company has reduced its growth forecasts for 2001 following the downturn in US adspend.

The group has become the latest prophet of ad woe in the coming months, predicting a meagre rise in ad revenue of 1%–3% for 2001 as a whole, with the growth “more heavily weighted” to the second half of the year.

Although the second-half recovery will, says NYTC, allow it to hit full-year targets, the slow start has prompted the group to warn that Q1 results would be below previous expectations. First-quarter earnings per share are now forecast at 35 cents to 38 cents, a dramatic fall from the 47 cents of the first three months of 2000 and some way below Wall Street expectations of 45 cents.

To help it hit earnings growth targets of 10%–15% for the year, the group also announced that it would cut costs “substantially” at its online division, reduce the paper width in eight of its titles, shave $50 million from capital spending and make an extra $30–$32m in operating income through price rises.

News source: Financial Times