The adspend slump has spread even to the tabloid clarion of Britain's middle class, the Daily Mail. Its publisher, Daily Mail and General Trust, revealed Thursday a decline of seven per cent in profits and warned that difficult market conditions would continue into 2002.

For the first nine months of this year, the daily newspaper and its Sunday sibling achieved ad revenues 1.6% up on last year, only to see a sharp drop in October and November. Sister title, the Evening Standard, which enjoys a virtual monopoly in Greater London and much of the south-east of England, has already suffered a 16% year-on-year fall in the fourth quarter.

In the year to 30 September, sales rose six per cent to £238.9 million but pre-tax profits fell to £177.5m ($256.5m), 7% per cent below last year’s £191.5m.

Ducking predictions for 2002, the group warned: “We have planned for [adverse market conditions] to persist for much of the next calendar year.”

News source: Financial Times