More jobs go as DMGT falls into the red

DAILY Mail and General Trust (DMGT) said yesterday that had fallen into the red, posting a pre-tax loss of &pound;239m for the six months to 29 March &ndash; forcing it to cut more jobs.<br /><br />The owner of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday said that it had been hit by a &pound;188m non-cash impairment charge, mostly relating to one-off restructuring charges and a write-down of &pound;179m against assets acquired in recent years.<br /><br />Excluding exceptionals, DMGT made pre-tax profits of &pound;77m in the six months to 29 March, down from &pound;144m last year, prompting the company to step-up its cost-cutting programme from &pound;100m to &pound;150m.<br /><br />DMGT had previously announced plans to cut 1,000 jobs, but said yesterday that the number will be 1,500 &nbsp;&ndash; though the &ldquo;vast majority&rdquo; of the losses have already taken place.<br /><br />The publisher said it had seen growth in its business to business operations but its consumer &nbsp;media division had been hit by the &ldquo;unprecedented advertising conditions&rdquo;. But it said it had seen an improvement during the months of April and May.<br /><br />&ldquo;The decisive action taken to defend profitability, along with the continued management of our cost base, will help to offset the effect of continued weak trading conditions in the second half,&rdquo; said DMGT chief executive Martin Morgan.<br /><br />DMGT&rsquo;s first-half sales fell seven per cent, driven by a slump in ad revenues, especially from the small firms that make up the bulk of classified ads in the regional press.<br /><br />Associated Newspapers, the company&rsquo;s national newspaper arm, saw a 59 per cent drop in operating profit to &pound;18m, with revenue down 10 per cent to &pound;455m. But the company gave a confident outlook, and said full year results would meet consensus.&nbsp;