But in an earnings conference call with analysts, CEO Janet Robinson cautioned that rising costs are likely to make the third quarter tougher. Some of the factors are particular to the Times, others general to the industry.
Newsprint prices, way down in 2009 and still falling the first half of this year, are now headed higher. That will have a negative impact of $25 million through the rest of the year, the company calculates.
In addition, salary rollbacks instituted as an emergency measure in mid-2009 have come off, kicking up personnel costs.
The Times Co. has been able to grow circulation revenue for a year now with price increases more than making up for circulation declines. Next quarter, the price increases will have cycled through, Robinson said, and circulation revenues will probably decline 3 to 5 percent year to year.
The Times Co. continues to benefit from strong growth and profitability of its About.com subsidiary. Revenues grew 24 percent compared to the second period in 2009, and About.com's operating profit margin has risen to 46 percent.
For investors, the positives in the report outweighed the cautions for the rest of the year. New York Times shares were up 2.2 percent in midday trading and about 5 percent for the week.