TORONTO – Torstar Corp. had a $4.8-million profit attributable to shareholders and improved adjusted earnings in the second quarter, partly because of cost reductions and partly due to a provincial tax credit that offset labour costs.In the comparable period last year, Torstar posted a loss of just under $7 million.Net income in the three months ended June 30 was equal to six cents per share, which compared with a loss of nine cents per share in last year’s second quarter.Adjusted earnings from continuing operations equalled 16 cents per share, compared with a loss of three cents per share a year ago.The year-over-year improvements were due primarily to lower operating costs.Salaries and benefits were down $20.9 million from a year ago, mostly because of the digital tax credit. Excluding the credit, salaries and benefits would be down $5.1 million.Revenue was down 11.5 per cent to $143.2 million in the second quarter from $161.7 million a year earlier.Year-over-year comparisons are complicated by a number of acquisitions and divestitures, including a publication exchange between Torstar and Postmedia Network Canada Corp.Their deal is being investigated by the federal Competition Bureau. The companies say they complied with the law and they’re co-operating with the competition watchdog.Like most traditional newspapers, magazines and broadcast media, Torstar has been undergoing a years-long decline in advertising revenue due to competition from digital media and changing consumer habits.“While we are in the early days of a comprehensive multi-phased transformation plan, signs of progress are clear.” John Boynton, Torstar’s president and CEO, told analysts in a conference call.He said Torstar is pleased with the stability of its subscriber revenue, which he described as a “large and more resilient part of our business.”Boynton said its data about consumers and advertisers is key.“Already we’re using some of the data to help us make decisions and start to figure out how to serve customers better. And the same with the client side,” Boynton said.Torstar is also going to make more use of subscriptions for its digital media, in order to provide more relevant advertising to consumers in a more efficient way.___Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail and the parent company of Montreal’s La Presse.Companies in this story: (TSX:TS.B, TSX:PNC.B)Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said net income per share was for six months instead of three months.