Despite what it described as the worst recession in 70 years, Northcliffe delivered operating profit in 2008/2009 of £24m (down 66 per cent year on year) on turnover of £328m.
It said that revenues have now stabilized and that Northcliffe’s profits are now increasing year on year – leaving it well placed to profit from the economic recovery.
“The strategic objective is to continue to transform Northcliffe into a new multi platform local media information business”, the report states.
DMGT said it does not expect to make further significant acquisitions in UK local print media.
Cost cutting across regional titles which include the Hull Daily Mail, Western Daily Press and Leicester Mercury has resulted in annual savings of £53m, the company revealed. Staff count in the UK titles has been reduced by 1,024 – or 23 per cent.
DMGT also reveals in its annual report that Northcliffe journalists are now being urged to deliver one unique print-only story a day, in order to differentiate print editions from online.
DMGT chief executive Martin Morgan reveals said he is particularly pleased with the performance of the Associated Newspapers national newspapers division – which delivered operating profit of £62m on total turnover of £876m, an operating profit margin of seven per cent.
He said: ‘Our national papers have done tremendously well within an admittedly weak marketplace. Indeed, Associated’s operating profit fell only 15 per cent this year, which is an outstanding achievement in this climate.”
Daily Mail editor, and Associated Newspaper board member, Paul Dacre cemented his postion as the UK’s top paid newspaper editor with total pay rising to £1,635m in 2009 (up from £1.62m in 2008)