by Paul Linford
Lord Rothermere today declared that his regional and national newspaper empire will "bounce back" despite a slump in revenues for the first half of its financial year.
Daily Mail and General Trust, which owns the Northcliffe Media regional publishing group, today published results for the period covering October 2008 - March 2009.
They revealed that advertising revenues at Northcliffe were down 31pc in the period, with profits for the UK papers down 91pc to £3.2m from £33m the previous year.
But in a video interview streamed on the company's website, DMGT chairman Lord Rothermere said the company would emerge from the recession stronger than when it went in.
"The newspapers will bounce back. They are going through a difficult time but that time is cyclical and consistent with the economic situation.
"DMGT is extremely well-positioned to come out of this recession in a stronger position than when we went into it."
Today's figures show overall revenues for Northcliffe Media fell 23pc from £216m in the equivalent period in 2007-2008 to £166m in 2008-2009.
Advertising revenues from property were down 54pc, recruitment 47pc, retail 24pc and motors 23pc, while circulation revenues fell 6pc.
The half-yearly report reveals that overall headcount fell by 500 as a result of the widespread cutbacks across Northcliffe announced in the first three months of the year.
This contributed to a 20pc fall in operating costs compared with the same period the previous year.
In his video interview, Lord Rothermere said he had found making the cutbacks "extremely difficult" and admitted he felt like he had let down those affected.