Northcliffe Newspapers had experienced a growth in advertising revenues, its latest trading update reveals.
The regional newspaper group, part of the Daily Mail and General Trust, has also seen overall circulation revenue increase.
Northcliffe publishes 95 daily and weekly newspapers in an area stretching from Cornwall to north Scotland.
Overall advertising revenues rose by 3.5 per cent in February following a 1.8 per cent rise in the quarter to December 2001.
Recruitment advertising is currently running four per cent down.
But increased investment in editorial and marketing is beginning to help improve circulation performance as well as provide the basis for increased cover prices.
Overall circulation revenue is currently running ahead of last year for the first time in many years.
Digital publishing investment continues to be reduced and the sector is now better aligned with the newspapers. Employee numbers have been reduced and revenues are up 50 per cent.
DMGT’s businesses continue to perform well despite difficult trading conditions and are reaping the benefit of investment over a long period, generally proving to be robust in both of market position and profitability.
The circulation of Associated Newspapers’ national titles continues to grow, despite cover price increases imposed during 2001.
The Evening Standard’s classified advertising remains weak, with the key recruitment category still over 40% down year on year, as in the last quarter of 2001.
Metro is making “good progress” and could be around break-even by the end of the year.
Teletext revenues are showing signs of recovery after some weakness following September 11.
The trading report said: “In summary, the Group is taking advantage of the strength of its businesses to improve market positions while times are tough. Looking at the financial year as a whole, a satisfactory outcome is currently expected.”
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