Newsquest's ad revenue drops almost 8%

Regional publishing group Newsquest, owner of the Brighton Argus and Southampton’s Southern Daily Echo, recorded a near eight per cent year-on-year fall in ad revenue in the final three months of 2010.

Newsquest’s US parent company, Gannett, said that revenue from retail ads fell 5.9 per cent year on year, revenue from national advertising dropped 1.6 per cent and classified fell 10.2 per cent.

Within the classified sector, revenue from employment ads dropped 21.3 per cent from the same period in 2009, while revenue from motoring ads fell 5.7 per cent and housing dropped by 3.6 per cent year on year.

Newsquest’s results do not compare favourably with results elsewhere in Gannet. The US media giant said overall ad revenue across the group declined only a 4.8 per cent in the fourth quarter.

Gannett made the announcement last night as it published its fourth quarter and full year results, however it did not reveal specific details of how much money its British newspaper operations made in the final three months of last year.

In October, Gracia Martore, chief financial officer at Gannett, attempted to reassure institutional investors concerned that it might seek to sell off its struggling UK business by saying that ‘Newsquest makes a lot of money.”

However, those comments rang hollow last week when Newsquest employees in Wales and Gloucestershire were asked to take a week’s unpaid holiday because of the perilous state of the company’s finances.

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