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Profits fall by two thirds at Northcliffe Media

Profits at regional newspaper publisher Northcliffe Media fell by 67pc over the past year, it was announced today.

In its unaudited preliminary results for 2008-09, parent company Daily Mail and General Trust revealed that Northcliffe’s operating profit sunk by £40m to £20m.

Revenues were down by £89m to £285m with advertising revenues falling by 30pc to £201m in what the company called “unprecedented trading conditions for local newspapers”.

The results statement also showed that cost reductions of £50m had taken place during the year which are still continuing.

Recruitment ad revenues declined by 49pc, property advertising was down 46pc, motors fell by 24pc and retail was down by 20pc.

Only a handful of cover price increases were implemented during the financial year as newspaper circulation revenues fell by 7pc however visitors to Northcliffe’s entire digital network rose by 31pc in September 2009 compared with the same month last year.

Digital ad revenues of £17m were in line with last year despite a decline in recruitment revenues of 35pc, said the company in a statement.

Overall the Daily Mail and General Trust reported a group-wide operating profit of £278m which was down 12pc on last year.

DMGT chief executive Martin Morgan said: “We have actively managed the business to defend profitability during unprecedented trading conditions with a clear focus on fundamentals.

“Revenue and cost initiatives of £150m have been delivered and we have taken action on various underperforming assets across the Group.

“We remain focused on cash generation, debt reduction and cost efficiency.

“Our UK consumer businesses have achieved a sharp improvement in profitability in the second half of the year reflecting more stable conditions and a lower cost base.”

  • Visit to read the full annual results.
  • Comments

    Rob (26/11/2009 11:59:54)
    Which other industry regards profits of 25 percent as a reason to cut the workforce. Even the current slump leaves them pretty well off, but still more cuts to come i bet.

    Eh? (26/11/2009 14:22:55)
    Rob – hopefully they will be left with reporters who have slightly better maths than you. £20m on £285m revenues is about 7%, not 25%. It’s also clear that if there had not been £50m cuts, the company would have lost £30m and, presumably, gone out of business.