A programme of cost-cutting that saw more than 240 job losses helped regional publisher Northcliffe Media return a £30m profit this year.
Results published by parent company DMGT today revealed that revenues at the group fell by 10pc from £328m in the year up to 1 October 2009 to £294m in the same period this year.
But with a reduction of costs totalling £26m coupled with a £17m growth in digital revenues, the group saw its profits rise by £6m.
The £26m cost cuts included a £14m reduction on staff costs, with headcount across the group falling by 242.
Today’s report says: “Northcliffe has continued to innovate and change processes to drive down operational costs which have been reduced by £26 million or 10pc.
“Staff costs fell by an underlying £14m as headcount was reduced by 242 or 7pc since September 2009. Greater efficiency has been delivered across all departments.”
The report also predicts that Northcliffe faces “another tough year,” with advertising revenue since 1 October down 7pc on last year.
It says the group will also be affected by higher newsprint costs and that the focus will remain on reducing costs and new revenue opportunities.
The report revealed that newspaper circulation revenues fell by around 6pc or £4m, but the fall was sharper for the group’s daily titles.
Recent ABC figures showed that circulation of the group’s daily titles was down 7.7pc compared with an industry average of 6.7pc, while the weekly titles recorded a fall of 4.4pc.
“Despite the fall in revenues, Northcliffe has continued to innovate to improve the quality and quantity of its newspaper content,” the report says, highlighting the recent transfer of the hyperlocal initiative LocalPeople into the Northcliffe portfolio.
Elsewhere in DMGT, the group’s digital only business include Jobsite, FindaProperty and motors.co.uk saw profits increase from £1m to £6m.