The New York Times has reported a surge in profits in the third quarter, fueled by gains in digital subscriptions, which helped offset ongoing declines from print operations.

The prestigious daily, a frequent target of President Donald Trump, said its digital paid subscribers numbered 2.49 million in the third quarter, an increase of 154,000 from the prior three months and up 59% from a year earlier.

Net profit for shareholders jumped to $32.3 million from $406,000 a year ago while total revenues increased six percent to $385.6 million.

The latest results highlight the shift of the newspaper to digital as it tries to maintain the country's biggest newsroom staff and expand its brand globally.

The digital gains helped offset steep declines in print advertising, which had been the bread-and-butter for the newspaper in the past.

Print ad revenues fell 20% from a year ago, while digital ad revenues rose 11% to make up 43% of the ad total.

"These results reflect the ongoing strength of our digital strategy and continued demand for quality, in-depth journalism," said Mark Thompson, president and chief executive of the New York Times Co.

The results include a $30 million gain from the sale of the company's stake in a paper mill previously operated by Madison Paper Industries.

The Times said it expects similar trends in the fourth quarter, with modest gains in subscription revenue and declines in advertising income.

New York Times shares traded down 2.75% after the report to $18.55.