AOL profit rises thanks to boost in ad revenue

First-quarter earnings climbed by 23 percent to $25.9 million due to a 9 percent increase in advertising revenue.

AOL has continued to shed subscribers but managed to turn a decent profit last quarter thanks mostly to its advertising trade.

The online Internet provider scored a 9 percent increase in global advertising revenue for the first quarter, compared with the year-ago quarter. Global display revenue climbed by 8 percent year over year thanks to 6 percent growth in the U.S. and ongoing double-digit growth abroad.

AOL also saw a 9 percent rise in search revenue due to gains in global queries and higher revenue per search at

"Growth continues at AOL," AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said in a statement. "AOL's strategy of being the first scaled media and technology company is clearly represented in our results today, and we will continue to aggressively drive the company toward near-and long-term growth."

The gains in ad and search revenue helped offset the losses in subscribers. For the quarter, subscription revenue fell by 9 percent year over year, though that proved healthier than the 15 percent decline in the first quarter of 2012. The average monthly churn rate dropped slightly to 1.9 percent, compared with 2 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Overall, earnings rose to $25.9 million from $21.1 million a year ago, while revenue reached $538.3 million, up from $529.4 million.

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