Summary:

It’s going to get worse before it gets better. Income from DMGT’s news business fell 12 percent between October and February. But, for the c…

It’s going to get worse before it gets better. Income from DMGT’s news business fell 12 percent between October and February. But, for the current January-to-March quarter, it reckons its Daily Mail (LSE: DMGT) publisher Associated Newspapers will be down 24 percent and its regional Northcliffe unit down a worrying 37 percent. The forecast came in a trading update Monday ahead of full results on March 29.

Job classifieds are expected to be decimated, down 55 percent; but still, CEO Martin Morgan’s DMGT suggests the bottom is in sight – classifieds across the board “are showing signs of stabilisation”, it says. But DMGT is doubling the number of cuts it said it would make from Northcliffe in November, up to about 1,000 workers, while Associated will also see more cuts – the cuts will cost £20 million, on top of the £100 million cuts DMGT was already making.

DMGT did not give an indication as to how online sales fared over the last five months, or how they are expected to come in for the current quarter. From October to December, however, Associated online sales fell three percent from the year before – rare backwards momentum, given a recent history of go-go online growth.

In contrast to DMGT’s consumer news operations, its business-to-business arm saw 15 percent better revenue from October to February – but that was partly due to the dollar’s relative strength and even B2B “has generally become a little more difficult”.

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