Regional publisher Northcliffe Media saw a profits surge of 54pc in its final year after axing 324 staff, according to figures released today.
But DMGT’s annual results published today show that, far from being a drain on its resources, Northcliffe actually contributed profits of £26m in the year to 30 September, up 54pc from £17m the previous year.
The profits increase, which reversed a 37pc fall in 2011, appeared to be largely attributable to cost-cutting, with headcount reduced by 324 during the year and overall costs down by £33m.
Today’s figures shopw Northcliffe revenues down 10pc for 2012 at £213m compared to £236m in 2011.
DMGT said the 54pc increase in operating profit reflected “the successful execution of the restructuring programme and a growth in digital revenues.”
Today’s report said: “The year on year cost savings included staff costs, following last year’s structural changes and a 324 reduction in staff numbers in the current year.
“Production and distribution costs were down and some savings were as a consequence of lower activity levels. However, more significant reductions have been made through the changes to the product portfolio, distribution changes and lower newsprint costs.”
Newspaper sales revenues were down 5pc at £57m, although the company claims that allowing for daily to weekly switches and other changes, like for like revenues were up 1pc.
Overall underlying advertising revenues were down 8pc for the year although digital advertising revenues increased by 2pc.
The report says that the business will continue to operate as normal during the sale to Local World.
The sale, which valued Northcliffe at around £81m, is expected to be completed next month following an employee consultation process.
Commenting on the results as a whole, DMGT chief executive Martin Morgan said: “We continued to refine our portfolio of businesses during the year with further acquisitions and disposals aimed at improving our long term growth potential.
“Today we are a more focused and financially stronger Group, leaving us well positioned for 2013 and beyond.”