Earnings: AND Fighting Classified Collapse

DMGT’s April-to-June UK digital sales from its consumer news business fell six percent from last year. Within that, it’s ying and yang – online job classified sales crashed by 43 percent, but “other categories” grew 60 percent.

Associated Northcliffe Digital’s online classifieds as a whole (jobs, property and motors) were down 26 percent. The group claims 37 percent more monthly uniques to its regional ThisIs network.

New AND CEO Richard Titus told paidContent:UK in June he wants to see more innovations in local-level digital advertising: “One of my big focuses is figuring out how to make mobile and digital on all platforms valuable to small and medium enterprises and to unlock those dollars to create game-changing revenues to enable more digital services”. The group has recently been getting outsourced ad sales duties for Independent.co.uk, Hellomagazine.com and the contract to run Johnston Press’ jobs board.

National (Associated): Revenues down 12 percent to £206 million. Ad sales down 15 percent (display 13 percent, classifieds 14 percent) but retail ads up six percent travel ads up nine percent. The 12 percent dip is better than the previous quarter’s 23 percent nosedive, with June proving stronger, but July has been “disappointing”. Print circulation sales down seven percent, though volume down just one percent after a direct marketing campaign.

Regional (Northcliffe): Revenues crashed 27 percent to £79 million. Northcliffe’s shaved 19 percent of its publishing costs, ie. closing presses in Leicester and Bristol. 560 jobs (six percent) were cut across the two units.

In total, DMGT group revenue fell 13 percent to £520 million. CEO Martin Morgan said the target of improving profitability by £150 million had been met but trading “remained weak”

Even DMGT’s B2B units, which have recently given DMGT solace with their profitable property data groups etc, saw revenue fall three percent to £216 million, while DMG Information’s growth has slowed to three percent (£55 million).