Publisher Daily Mail & General Trust has announced falling revenues at both its national and regional divisions.

The group said advertising revenues at Associated Newspapers - home of the Daily Mail and the London Evening Standard - were down nine per cent in the five months to February, while they were seven per cent lower at regionals arm Northcliffe.

The update yesterday came as DMGT said an announcement regarding the future organisation of its Northcliffe arm "will be made soon", following last month's surprise decision to call off the sale of the business.

Northcliffe, which includes titles such as the Derby Evening Telegraph, Nottingham Evening Post, Leicester Mercury, Stoke Sentinel, Tamworth Herald, Sutton Observer and Walsall Advertiser, had been put up for sale in November.

DMGT received three bids, as well as other proposals for parts of it, but said in February the offers "did not fully reflect the long term value of the business".

Analysts said the proposed sale could have been worth up to #1.5 billion.

Finance director Peter Williams said some analysts' forecasts for the current fiscal year do not reflect the sharp downturn in the newspaper industry since the turn of the year.

He said: "Analysts won't be surprised by the market trends, which have already been reported by the likes of Trinity Mirror and Johnston Press, but they may not have updated their forecasts to reflect those conditions."

A consensus of ten brokers calls for pretax profit of #260.6 mlllion for the 12 months to October 1, up from #236.2 million the previous year.

The forecasts range from #248 million to #282.7 million.

Yesterday, DMGT said it would take an exceptional charge of some #15 million to reflect the costs incurred in trying to sell Northcliffe and a strategic review it is carrying out on the business.

An announcement on the future organisation of Northcliffe could be made "within the next couple of weeks, said Mr Williams.

The group is reportedly on the verge of agreeing the disposal of its Aberdeen newspapers and its local titles in the south-east of England, which would effectively spell a break-up.

In the meantime, Northcliffe's Aim Higher cost-cutting programme is continuing to make progress, with overheads for the first months of the year some five per cent lower than last year, said the group.

At Associated, circulation revenues for the five months of the year were one per cent lower than last year.

The Dail Mail circulation fell over the period, but its share of a declining market rose when compared to the same time last year.

The Mail on Sunday performed in line with its peers.

DMGT is scheduled to report results for the six months to April 2 on May 25.