Belfast Telegraph

Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday axe 200 jobs

The publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday has revealed that it has made nearly 200 fresh job cuts in its newspaper publishing arm as it continues to battle declining regional sales.

The Daily Mail and General Trust said it reduced the headcount in its national and regional newspaper division by a further 188 jobs in the first two months of 2011, taking total job losses to 520, or 7% of the workforce, in the five months to the end of February. Its Northcliffe Media arm, which includes some 100 regional newspaper titles, took the brunt of the cuts with 317 job losses as revenues from circulation and advertising dropped 3% and 8% respectively in the period.

Group underlying revenues were up 5%, driven by a strong performance at its business-to-business arm, although the company said it remained cautious over the outlook for its newspaper business.

The group said the decline in advertising revenues at Northcliffe Media had worsened so far in 2011, falling 12% in the first two months of the second quarter.

This included a 27% drop in recruitment revenues and a 12% decline in income from notices in regional newspapers.

Local newspapers have suffered falling circulation and advertising revenues in recent years following competition from the internet, with fellow regional publishers Johnston Press and Trinity Mirror having both posted similarly gloomy updates in recent weeks.

Analysts at Charles Stanley said there were still structural issues at the Northcliffe business amid rumours the arm could be sold.

The company said that there was “continued uncertainty over medium-term outlook, particularly for business to consumer businesses, given the external economic environment and fragile consumer confidence in the UK.”

However, its MailOnline website, the most popular newspaper site in the UK, helped boost advertising revenue.

Belfast Telegraph