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Upbeat vibes from Northcliffe at City investor seminar

City analysts have been given an upbeat presentation by Northcliffe top brass on the progress made by the company and its repositioning after sell-offs and acquisitions.

Northcliffe Media’s managing director Michael Pelosi, finance director Martyn Hindley and Peter Williams, the finance director from parent company Daily Mail & General Trust, hosted a presentation on the local media division.

Michael spoke of the value of print to Northcliffe’s growth prospects, despite growth in the digital sector.

He said: “We still recognise the huge value of print and we will launch selectively where market opportunities present themselves.

“We have a revitalised business, which is clearly focused, more efficient, operating on a much reduced cost base, and has a renewed sense of purpose.

“We are aware of our key challenges. We must deliver local audiences if we are to achieve profitable revenue growth. Digital publishing has a key role to play here.

“We are implementing solutions so as to address our challenges. Northcliffe is now an integrated local media publisher. Online, we are getting better by the day.”

Martyn told their audience: “We are running our businesses faster, whilst ensuring we don’t compromise on content quality. We continue to drive for cost efficiencies and seek group-wide synergies. However, we will also continue to innovate and invest to maintain a strong competitive position.”

Northcliffe has repositioned by selling Aberdeen Journals for £132m and Northcliffe Retail for £8m, and buying a number of weekly titles from Trinity Mirror for £64m.

In the year ending September 30, Northcliffe expects to report revenues of £448m and operating profits of not less than £92.5m. On a like for like basis, UK operating profits grew by 6.9 per cent and International operating profits grew by 18 per cent.