Northcliffe's portfolio of titles were badly affected by weak advertising markets and operating profits were down £45 million, parent company Daily Mail and General Trust reported today in its preliminary results for 2009.
All categories of advertising were "under pressure" but particularly recruitment, property and motors. DMGT said the company has responded by initiating a range of significant restructuring activities.
Overall, Northcliffe's underlying operating profit was down £45 million, with revenues down £98 million, offset by cost reductions of £53 million. Total revenue fall 22% to£328m with operating profit down 65% to £24m.
DMGT said Northcliffe's advertising revenues have been stable since February/March and reducing costs has lead to improved profits and margins.
Group revenue for the year was £2,118 million compared with £2,312 million for the prior year, a fall of 8%. Operating profit was 12% lower at £278million. Adjusted profits before tax were £201 million, down 23% on the equivalent figure for last year, with all divisions, except Northcliffe Media, maintaining or increasing operating margins.