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AOL's pulse slows as Q2 revs slip 24%

Ad biz just ain't wot it used to be

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Internet old guard AOL might be grateful the world is looking in the other direction today, after its parent company Time Warner reported less than rosy second quarter results for the tech firm.

AOL saw revenue sharply decline 24 per cent to $804m for the three months ended 30 June this year, compared with $1.06bn in its 2008 Q2.

The ailing company, which is expected to be cut loose from Time Warner later this year, saw operating income fall 28 per cent to $165m for the quarter.

According to Time Warner’s breakdown of AOL’s latest numbers, the firm saw subscription sales tumble 27 per cent, after 510,000 dial-up customers abandoned its service in Q2. AOL currently has 5.8 million subscribers on its books.

And while Yahoo! is busy making hay with Microsoft in an ad deal that will leave the Carol Bartz-led web outfit looking a bit like a glorified door-to-door salesman, AOL continues to limp along, noting a 21 per cent dip in its own ad biz.

It blamed much of the fall in sales on lower ad network, display and paid search revenue.

Time Warner, which earlier this week took a few steps closer to divorcing AOL, reported second quarter net income of $519m, or 43 cents a share, on revenue of $6.8bn. That’s an 8.8 per cent decline compared to the company’s year ago Q2.

"We’re on track to spin off AOL to our stockholders around the end of the year," said Time Warner's CEO Jeff Bewkes. "Separating AOL will benefit both companies - enabling Time Warner to concentrate fully on our core content businesses and improving AOL’s operational and strategic flexibility." ®

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