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Daily Mail group hit by 19% fall in consumer revenues

LONDON - Daily Mail owner DMGT has suffered a 19% fall in revenues at its consumer media operations, according to its quarterly trading update, as advertising fell 33% overall and 6% online.

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Second calendar quarter revenues came in at £303m across the company's national newspapers group Associated and UK regional and central European newspapers group Northcliffe.

The earnings picture was worse at Northcliffe, down 27% to £79m, with UK advertising revenues down 33% and UK circulation revenues down 8%.

Despite the fall DMGT said that "absolute weekly levels of advertising revenue appear to have stabilised".

It identified retail as the largest category, down by 16%. Recruitment is down 56%, property down 46%, and motors down by 28%.

For June and the first three weeks of July ad revenues are respectively 30% and 28% lower than the corresponding weeks last year.

UK digital revenues for the quarter were 6% lower than last year, with recruitment revenues 43% lower, but DMGT said there was a 60% growth in other categories.

Unique visitor levels to Northcliffe's network of regional newspaper 'Thisis' websites in June 2009 were 37% higher than the previous June.

Associated's underlying revenues (excluding the Evening Standard) dropped 12% to £206m. Although retail and travel display advertising grew, overall ad revenues were down 15%.

The company commented that July has "so far been disappointing" and ad revenues "remain volatile from week to week with little visibility on future performance".

DMGT's overall performance is also worsening, with business-to-business publishing revenues down 3% and total revenues down 13% to £520m.

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