DMGT mulls sale of Northcliffe Newspapers

The Daily Mail & General Trust is considering a sale of its Northcliffe Newspapers regional division, a move that has led to speculation that it is preparing to bid for GCap.

DMGT, which has been involved in regional newspapers for more than 80 years, owns more than 100 local newspapers, including the Nottingham Evening Post, the Leicester Mercury and the Bristol Evening Post.

DMGT already owns 15 per cent of GCap, which is vulnerable to a takeover following a recent fall in its share price.

The decision to put Northcliffe up for sale follows the launch of a review of its future. In a results statement for the year ending 2 October, DMGT said: "The board has now identified the potential for further restructuring of the business. It has also decided to explore whether greater shareholder value can be achieved through a sale of the business."

The decision comes as the division reported flat revenues of £520 million and a decline in advertising revenue in the second half of the year.

DMGT reported a rise in operating profit of 14 per cent to £207.2 million.

This was on the back of increased profits at Associated Newspapers, which comprises the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, the Evening Standard and Metro.

Profits rose 5 per cent to £95.1 million despite a fall in revenues of 1 per cent to £877 million.

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