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15 April 2024

Yahoo profit tumbles in Q4 but advertisement revenue holds

Carol Bartz (SUPPLIED)

By Vigyan Arya

Yahoo has reported a loss of $303 million (Dh1,113m) for the last quarter of 2008, in comparison to a profit of $206m in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to industry reports.

The news comes following a very turbulent year for the web search engine, which saw some contrasting times that included intentions to tie up with Google and even Microsoft.

Yahoo started the year on a positive note but by the year-end is rumoured to have sacked more than 1,500 staff members. To take Yahoo out of the turmoil, the company has appointed high-profile CEO Carol Bartz.

In her first public address on company's performance, she said despite not so healthy numbers Yahoo would continue to invest in search, but look at options "to get the best value out of it if we decide to sell".

Bartz has been on the helm of the board for little over two weeks and clearing her stand she said she did not come to the company to sell it, and added the company shouldn't "be pulled apart and left for the chickens".

Bartz replaced co-founder Jerry Yang as CEO two weeks ago, and believes Yahoo, which has seen its display-ad business erode and is a distant No2 in search to Google, has plenty of potential, but it was early to say what her strategy would be to turn the portal around.

Industry analysts believe despite worsening management turmoil over the past year and the difficult economic environment, Yahoo faired better than expected.

According to the figures shared with the media, company's revenue was almost flat down to one per cent at $1.805bn from $1.832bn a year ago. Advertising revenue was also almost flat at $1.59bn.

Despite the downfall, company representatives claim that Yahoo is withering the recession storm "reasonably well so far," reported Ad Age, and industry experts agree with that claim.

However, the reality is to be dip further as Yahoo is predicting first-quarter revenue of 2009 would be down 10 per cent from a year ago. Market also showed in confidence in Yahoo's controlled damage and in fact rose by five per cent after announcing last year's results.

Bartz cleared any doubts of Yahoo intending to buy other media units, as was suggested by some industry experts and on the contrary, she confirmed her faith in the company and its core business saying: "This is a fantastic internet property, and it really doesn't deserve everyone trying to pick and pull it apart. This is not a company that needs to be pulled apart and left for the chickens."