Today’s half-yearly results for DMGT, covering the six month period from October 1 to March 31, show that underlying revenues declined at Northcliffe Media by just 5pc in the final three months of DMGT’s ownership, a far slower rate than the 10pc drop seen in the previous financial year.
The results also show that DMGT benefited to the tune of £4m from the ending of the Northcliffe defined benefit pension plan, which has since been replaced by a new Local World pension scheme.
Today’s report showed revenues at Northclffe Media in the three months to December 31 were £49m compared to a figure of £59m for the corresponding period in 2011.
Operating profit in the same period was £7m, giving an operating margin of 15pc.
The report says: “Northcliffe Media was sold to Local World, a company in which the Group now owns a 38.7pc stake, at the end of December 2012. Consequently the results in the period only include three months’ trading. Local World delivered a strong operating margin in its first quarter of trading to March.
“There was also a £4 million non-cash benefit within exceptional operating costs in respect of the curtailment of the Northcliffe defined benefit pension plan.”