Thursday, July 23, 2009

DMGT interim statement shows 33% reduction in year-on-year ad revenues for regional papers

Our parent company, DMGT, put out an interim management statement today, covering our third quarter trading, which ended on June 30th.

I think I've explained before that the Leicester Mercury and its sister publications in the city (primarily the Messengers, Mails and Leicestershire and Rutland Life) are part of Northcliffe Media, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc.

You can read the full statement here, but below is the bit about Northcliffe:

Northcliffe Media
Northcliffe Media’s total revenues for the quarter were down by 27% to £79 million. Of this, UK revenues were down 28% and International down 22% (down an underlying 19% in local currency).

UK advertising revenues for the quarter were 33% lower than the same period last year, compared with a year-on-year decline of 36% in the previous quarter. As we indicated in May, absolute weekly levels of advertising revenue appear to have stabilised. Retail, now the largest category, was down by 16%, recruitment down 56%, property down 46% and motors down by 28%. June and the first three weeks of July have seen revenues respectively 30% and 28% lower than the corresponding weeks last year.

UK digital revenues for the quarter were just 6% lower than the same period last year, with recruitment revenues 43% lower but a 60% growth in other categories. Unique visitor levels to Northcliffe’s network of “thisis” websites in June 2009 were 37% higher than the previous June.

UK circulation revenues for the quarter were 8% below last year. Daily and weekly paid for titles sale (unaudited) declined by 9% and 8% respectively in the January to June 2009 ABC period.

Northcliffe has continued to transform its cost base. UK publishing costs were 19% lower in the quarter than last year with all major cost categories down. The closure of presses in Leicester and Bristol has further reduced printing costs.

I think that it's fair to say that although Leicester continues to perform relatively well, we all still face a very challenging time despite the slightly slowing rate of decline in revenues.