DMGT: National and regionals divisions stay in black

DMGT‘s national newspapers division Associated Newspapers stayed in profit in 2009 despite the economic downturn returning operating profit down 15 per cent to £62m on turnover down 11 per cent to £876m.

Regional press division Northcliffe also stayed in the black with operating profit down 67 per cent to £20m.

DMGT revealed this morning that it has cut overall headcount by 1,600 over the last year at Associated and regional press division Northcliffe: including the closure of three regional printing plants at Grimsby, Leicester and Bristol. As a result an exceptional restructuring charge of £101m was made.

DMGT said that despite the downturn the Daily Mail produced the second highest profit in its history.

Circulation revenue at Associated dropped to £366m on an underlying basis, DMGT said, with the Mail titles deciding to spend less on CD and DVD giveaways and more on “a sustained direct marketing campaign to recruit more long term loyal purchasers”.

Advertising revenue in the national newspapers division was down 15 per cent to £350m but digital revenue was up 11 per cent.

In regional press and digital division Associated Northcliffe Digital revenue was down 22 per cent to £328m and operating profit dropped 65 per cent to £24m.

UK operating profits in the regional press division alone fell by £40 million (67 per cent) to £20 million on revenue down 24 per cent to £285m.

The company said: “Newspaper sales were also affected by the recession, as households scaled back on discretionary expenditure.

“By category, the increase in unemployment levels took its toll on recruitment advertising revenues, both print and digital. Underlying recruitment revenues declined by 49 per cent.

“In the property category, the weak residential market continued as estate agents and new home builders continued to scale back advertising spend. Underlying revenues fell by 46 per cent.”

Northcliffe said that loss of print circulation was offset by a rise in digital audience across the network by 31 per cent.

Overall DGMT’s global figures across its various business information and media businesses showed revenue down 8 per cent to £2,118m and operating profit down 12 per cent to £278m.

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