Belfast Telegraph

Mail newspaper group axing 400 jobs in shake-up amid falling advertising sales

The owner of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday is axing 400 jobs as it battles against plungi ng advertising sales.

Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) said the staff cuts were being made group-wide as part of an overhaul under new chief executive Paul Zwillenberg, who took over at the helm on June 1.

The group is also looking at closing some offices where it has a number of sites, such as in London and New York, to slash costs under the reorganisation.

It said many of the job cuts have already been made among its 10,000-strong workforce.

DMGT said the move comes in the face of "challenging market conditions" as underlying advertising revenues across its newspaper division have come under further pressure.

It saw dmg media underlying ad revenues fall by 4% over the 11 months of its financial year so far, but worsen in the five weeks since August 21 , tumbling by 10% as print advertising plunged by nearly a fifth.

Mr Zwillenberg, who took over from Martin Morgan on June 1, is set to give more details on the overhaul and cost-cutting plans alongside full-year results on December 1.

DMGT, which employs around 10,000 staff, said the overhaul and planned job cuts would lead to a £50 million one-off charge in the financial year to the end of September.

It said: "Given the challenging market conditions facing certain businesses within the portfolio, reorganisation initiatives are being implemented to protect their profitability.

"These initiatives will create a greater strategic focus and enable more effective decision- making across the group."

Details of the job losses come amid reports of more cost-cutting plans at rival the Guardian's American operation, where it is understood to be asking senior British staff to accept worse employment terms.

The newspaper, which said earlier this month that it was cutting a lmost a third of jobs across all departments in the US, is looking to switch journalists on to American-style contracts, according to the Telegraph.

DMGT is being hit by ongoing steep declines in print advertising revenues, although MailOnline has been helping offset the impact, with ad sales up 18% in the first 11 months of its financial year.

Newspaper circulation revenues rose 1% in July and August, helped by recent cover price hikes for its national titles.

The group increased the price of the Daily Mail for the first time in three years in February, by 5p to 65p, while it lifted the price of The Mail on Sunday in July.

DMGT finance director Stephen Daintith said the recent dmg media ad revenue decline came as it faced tough comparisons from a year earlier.

He added t here had been no signs of a direct impact of the Brexit vote on the business.

Overall the group, which runs events and owns business publisher Euromoney, posted flat underlying revenues for the 11 months of its year so far.