The New York Times narrowed its losses in the most recent quarter, though the company showed little sign of improvement in advertising.

The publisher of The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The International Herald-Tribune and 15 other daily newspapers said on Thursday it would have made money if not for hefty one-time charges.

However, it sustained a 27 per cent drop in ad revenue. While that was an improvement over last quarter’s 30 percent decline, year-over-year comparisons are getting easier because ad sales were already falling off by this time in 2008.

The Times’ ad slide in the third quarter was comparable to what other major newspaper publishers such as Gannett and McClatchy have reported. Those companies have remained profitable because of job cuts and falling newsprint costs.

The Times’ loss came to $35.6 million, or 25 cents per share. It took about $88 million in charges related to higher pension costs at the Globe and a tax adjustment.

The company lost $106.3 million, or 74 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago, when it had more than $160 million in one-time costs to account for the declining value of assets on its books.

Excluding unusual items, the company said it earned 16 cents per share in the most recent quarter, compared with 5 cents a year ago.

Overall revenue fell 17 per cent to $570.6 million.

More In: Companies | Business