23 November 2014

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Revenues down 9pc at Northcliffe Media as 80 jobs go

Regional publisher Northcliffe Media recorded a 9pc drop in overall revenues in the last three months of 2011, according to figures published today.

A quarterly financial statement by Northcliffe’s parent company DMGT revealed that circulation revenues fell by 7pc, with the decrease attributed to the decision to switch four of the group’s titles from daily to weekly publication.

Today’s interim management statement also revealed that the company’s headcount fell by 80 in the period October – December 2011, the first quarter of DMGT’s financial year.

The number of people employed at Northcliffe now stands at 2,450, compared to 3,130 in October 2010.

The statement said:  “Northcliffe Media’s total revenues were down by 9pc to £53m, an underlying decline of 7pc.

“Circulation revenue fell by 7%, driven entirely by the move of four titles from daily to weekly frequency and the transfer to wholesale distribution last year. Circulation declines are being offset by cover price increases.

“Northcliffe’s cost base continues to be reduced with publishing costs 12pc lower than last year.

“Headcount has fallen by a further 3pc during the quarter with total headcount now at 2,450, compared with 2,530 in October 2011.  Trading in January has seen underlying advertising revenues 10pc lower than last year.”

The statement also revealed that advertising revenues at the group were 10pc down year on year, with recruitment revenues down 13pc.

Commenting on DMGT’s performance as a whole, chief executive Martin Morgan said trading had been in line with expectations.

He said:  “Our consumer media operations were resilient with increased national circulation revenues which, together with a strong digital performance, offset a decline in print advertising revenues.

“Whilst we acknowledge the continuing external uncertainties, particularly for UK advertising, the outlook for the year remains unchanged.”

11 Comments

  1. Ex-journo trying to get into academia

    Yes but what about profits?

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  2. Simon

    “Circulation revenue fell by 7%, driven entirely by the move of four titles from daily to weekly frequency..”

    and i thought those moves were trumpeted as successes….

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  3. Gareth

    DMGT didn’t announce any profit figures in the statement – think their half-year results are due in May

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  4. Brain dead

    That’s brilliant. The entire 7pc revenue loss in circulation was due to dailies turning into weeklies. So if they didn’t do the switch they wouldn’t have lost any circulation revenue. If that’s correct then why did they do it? What a fantastic decision. I hope other companies are watching. Producing less papers = less revenue. Simples.

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  5. Bob the bulk-sale Builder

    It makes sense that the circulation revenue would fall by going weekly, as nobody has ever suggested the weekly sale would be six times higher than the average daily sale, nor the cover price rising my a multiple of six in it’s new weekly format. One would assume that the cost of producing/distributing the weekly would be considerably less, so the profit will come through, if you ever get to see it on a title by title basis.

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  6. Angry Sub

    “Producing less papers = less revenue.”

    Producing FEWER papers = less revenue.

    Harrumph.

    Report this comment

  7. sash

    @Brain dead

    But….

    Producing less papers = less cost. Also simples.

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  8. T R

    Tackling circulation declines by increasing prices…

    Now I’m no business expert, but I doubt that tactic will be tempting the readers back any time soon. Talk about giving up on your product!

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  9. Freddie

    I think that’s what worries me … the answer always seems to be – put the price up. It’s the last straw for many people and just one more reason not to buy. Me? I’d be bringing the price down. Most papers are thinner than they were anyway.

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  10. Rob

    Shareholder rebellion against Sly Bailey at Trinity Mirror – about time too. Wonder if bosses at Northcliffe et al are watching.

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  11. Blimey!

    No wonder we’re mocked for our poor numeracy skills. Isn’t it bleeding obvious that one business that makes money is better than six which make hardly anything?

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