Regional newspaper publisher Northcliffe posted an 81 per cent drop in operating profits in the six months up to March 29 2009, according to figures released today.
Operating profits for the group, which publishes the Bristol Evening Post and Hull Daily Mail, fell by £33 million to £3.2 million over the period. Advertising revenues also fell by 31 per cent to £103 million.
The publisher has reduced operating costs, however, by 11 per cent compared to the last period – including a reduction of its headcount by 500.
On the digital front, revenues were reportedly in line with the same period last year. Unique ‘visitors’ to the network of ‘thisis’ sites rose by 42 per cent year-on-year to 4.2 million.
Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT)
According to the figures, DMGT’s revenue fell by 7 per cent year-on-year – from £1,168 million to £1,085 million.
The group’s outlook:
“Within our UK local media operations, revenues continue to be stable which is encouraging, when combined with increasing cost reductions. Within our national consumer media operations, the positive impact will be felt of the cost reductions made to date and of the sale of the Evening Standard at the end of February. As a consequence, DMGT’s operating profits will be weighted more than last year towards the second half of the year.”