AOL has reported earnings for Q4, revealing that despite a plan to restructure the business, there still may be a long road ahead.

The company, which is looking to shift focus to more programmatic advertising and bigger content brands, reported revenues of $719.3 million for the quarter. Programmatic now accounts for 39% of the company’s ad revenues as of Q4.

The total revenue for AOL’s full fiscal year 2014 was up 9% on 2013 to $2.53 billion. Subscriptions performed better than expected with sales of $148.2 million and display ad revenues were up by only 1%, excluding brands that have closed down in the year.

Nevertheless, the only element of the company to grow its sales was AOL Platforms, where a lot of the ad business sits, which saw a 20% rise compared to Q4 2013, up to $330.6 million. Overall ad sales for the quarter reached $557.9 million.

Lower expenses

The company has began to close underperforming elements of the business and making what many feel are much-needed changes. This includes the closing down of standalone operations such as gaming site Joystiq and Apple news site TUAW.

However, the changes have also meant laying off around 150 people. As AOL shifts to more programmatic and platform-based ad selling, members of staff are being removed in favour of the company working on legacy ad products.

“AOL’s global team delivered our second consecutive year of growth in revenue and profits – while we lowered our expenses,“ commented AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, speaking in light of the Q4 results being announced.

“AOL is building leading assets in the fastest growing areas of media technology and we are aggressively moving the company forward in 2015.”