Advertising revenue at Daily Mail and General Trust‘s Northcliffe regional newspapers division fell 10 per cent year on year in the quarter to 2 July, while circulation revenue was down 8 per cent year on year.
Despite the year-on-year drop, ad revenues in the second quarter were an improvement on the first, when Northcliffe reported a 12 per cent drop. Retail revenue was down less than 1 per cent on last year but recruitment was hit by a 35 per cent slump and public notices fell 13 per cent.
Yesterday Northcliffe announced plans to sell seven weekly newspapers in Kent to the Kent Messenger Group, with a decision by the competition watchdog the Office of Fair Trading due within the next 40 days.
As part of a business restructure led by chief executive Steve Auckland the company has also restructured its senior management team, axed three weeklies in Nottinghamshire and switched two of its titles – the Torquay Herald Express and the Scunthorpe Telegraph – from daily to weekly publications.
Northcliffe saw a 5 per cent reduction in costs in the quarter after cutting headcount by 80 to 2,720, 3 per cent down on the previous quarter.
At its national newspaper division, Associated Newspapers, revenue fell 6 per cent in the last quarter to £207m and circulation revenue fell 3 per cent, though both the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday increased their market share.
On 18 July the cover price of the Daily Mail rose for the first time in more than three years from 50p to 55p to ‘mitigate some of the continuing high cost of newsprint and the recent decline in advertising revenues”.
Ad revenue was down 10 per cent in the second quarter – with print down 12 per cent but digital up 51 per cent.
Mail Online had another strong quarter and saw revenue up 59 per cent. In its interim management statement DMGT noted that the website had around 70 million unique visitors in June, which was 62 per cent higher than June 2010
DMGT’s business-to-business revenue in the second quarter was up 8 per cent on last year, but its consumer media arm A&N Media saw a six per cent fall in revenue. It said to have had an a 8 per cent drop in headcount from the start of the financial year to 7,010.
Chief executive Martin Morgan said: ‘Trading in the third quarter was mixed. There was continuing strength in B2B from our international portfolio of market-leading businesses with all divisions performing in line with our expectations.
‘In contrast, conditions within our consumer businesses have been tough with advertising revenue weak over the quarter.”