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Midlands dailies singled out as group’s revenues fall

A newspaper publisher today took the unusual step of singling out some of its regional titles as having contributed to a fall in advertising revenues.

Daily Mail and General Trust, the parent company of Northcliffe Media, attributed a reduction in ad spend across the regional group to what it called “weakness” in its East Midlands titles.

The comments came in a trading update giving details of its financial position for the 11 months to the end of August.

It reveals that Northcliffe Media’s total revenues for the period were 6pc lower year-on-year, with advertising revenue down 7pc.

The statement says: “For the quarter to September so far, advertising revenues are down 5pc due principally to weakness in our East Midland titles and the widely anticipated effects of reduced public sector advertising spend.”

Northcliffe’s titles in the East Midlands include the Derby Telegraph, Nottingham Post and Leicester Mercury.

For DMGT as a whole, like-for-like revenues were up 2pc and the trading was said to be robust, with growth from both B2B and consumer media businesses.

The financial year for the group ends on 3 October and pre-tax profits for the period are expected to be £238m.

Meanwhile, DMGT has announced its financial director Peter Williams will retire from the role next March.

He has been with the company since 1982 and held his current position since 1991.

Mr Williams will be replaced by Stephen Daintith, who is currently chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Rupert Murdoch-owned Dow Jones, publishers of the Wall Street Journal in New York.

DMGT chairman Lord Rothermere said: “Peter has made a tremendous contribution over the last 19 years as finance director, making him one of the longest serving finance directors in the FTSE – a testament to his ability, loyalty and dedication.”

5 comments

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  • September 28, 2010 at 10:25 am
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    Are the profits expected to be up then? Or down – I can’t tell from this.

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  • September 28, 2010 at 10:34 am
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    Watch out, Derby etc…the knife men are coming to get you! We all thought you were the lucky ones as the Dementors blew through Gloucester, Cheltenham and Bristol, but that was then!

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  • September 28, 2010 at 11:54 am
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    I’ve just forked out nearly sixty quid for a short, lineage-only death notice in a Johnston Press title. Having always taken advantage of free staff ads before, it came as a bit of a shock. Greed springs to mind – and just watch the rise and rise of free, local classifieds on social networking sites. People will not pay extortionate rates and now have somewhere else to go. Take heed, greedy executives.

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  • September 30, 2010 at 10:07 am
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    Quite right SebastianFaults – the sooner newspapers realise they’re not the only show in town, the sooner they can revitalise their flagging business models that work on the assumption that only they can do what they do.

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  • October 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm
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    Hi guys, Soul diva Josh STone here all the way from California. I just love you funny little English people with your funny little local newspapers. God bless you all.

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