At the same time, however, the online cornerstone was burdened with high costs for the company’s restructuring. "We still have a lot of work to do, but we are starting to see positive trends," mayer said in a conference call late monday. It wants to convince users to spend more time on yahoo sites and wants to offer them more personalized advertising. This should make yahoo more attractive for advertisers again.
Quarterly sales rose by 2 percent to 1.35 billion dollars (1 billion euros). The reason was higher revenues from the search engine and other business fields. On the other hand, the revenue from graphic ads shrank slightly. Profit fell 8 percent year over year to $272 million due to the pullout from south korea.
Mayer said she was proud of what she had achieved at the company’s headquarters in sunnyvale, california. For the full year, it was the first time in four years that yahoo’s revenue was up. After the redesign of the photo platform flickr, 25 percent more pictures were uploaded and users had clicked more often on ads in yahoo’s e-mail offer. Both services were only redesigned in december with a special focus on smartphone use. The next step will be to refresh the yahoo finance website and the yahoo news aggregation service.
However, in a cost-cutting program, about one in six employees had to go. At the end of december, 11,500 people were still working at yahoo.
Yahoo has gone through difficult times in recent years: the company was once synonymous with the internet, but then came new, strong rivals such as google and facebook. Many users turned away, the same was true for advertising customers. The situation was aggravated by internal squabbles with rapid succession of management changes.
Yahoo’s main source of revenue is advertising. These are on the one hand paid links in the search engine. Here yahoo uses the technology of microsofts search engine bing. Slowly, successes seem to show up in higher advertising revenues. However, the traditionally more important mainstay is display advertising with graphic displays. Google and facebook overtake yahoo this year.
The board of directors had poached the flagship manager mayer from rival google in mid-2012. It wants to make yahoo one of the top addresses in the internet business again. To do this, it gathered a new management team, closed unprofitable divisions such as in south korea, and wants to win back users to yahoo with new services and content.
She also wants to give yahoo a stronger international focus. Currently, three-quarters of revenues come from the americas, with the europe, middle east and africa region providing only one-tenth.
Yahoo was able to increase its revenue minimally to just under 5.0 billion dollars in the full year and retained more than 3.9 billion dollars at the bottom line – almost four times as much as in 2011. This huge jump in profits came from the sale of shares in the chinese internet group alibaba. For this year, management expects total revenues to be between 4.75 and 4.88 billion dollars.
Yahoo’s business figures exceeded analysts’ expectations. But the cautious forecast caused the share price to fall by one percent in early new york trading on tuesday.
A court ruling in mexico hangs over yahoo like a sword of damocles: the company has been ordered to pay 2.7 billion us dollars in a dispute with a business partner over an industry directory. Yahoo takes action against the decision. "We are confident that we will be successful," said chief financial officer ken goldman. That is why no provision has been made.