Despite beating analysts forecasts (just) in its second quarter, the New York Times Group is not immune to the current malaise in the advertising market.

The slump in adspend continues to depress profits and earnings per share at the company which also publishes the Boston Globe. It yesterday reported Q2 earnings per share of 44 cents, a 25.4% decrease year-on-year, albeit one cent a share ahead of analysts consensus forecasts.

Despite achieving a 5.4% reduction in costs (excluding buyouts and divestitures) compared with the same period in 2000, net income fell 30.7% to $70.5 million. Group operations – newspapers, broadcast and the internet division, reported aggregated sales down by 9.9% to $760.3m.

But chief executive Russell Lewis was in bullish mode: “We remain optimistic about our results for the second half of the year, when advertising revenue comparisons ease, particularly in the fourth quarter, and newsprint prices are expected to be more favourable.”

Before sackcloth and ashes become universal ad industry garb, it is timely to recall that US newspaper advertising revenues grew across the board at a record 14% in last year’s second quarter – thanks to the exceptional and short-lived spending torrent by dotcoms and technology companies.

News source: Financial Times