HEADQUARTERS: Avusa in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Picture: SOWETAN
HEADQUARTERS: The Times Media Group building in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Picture: SOWETAN

BDFM Publishers, the owner of Business Day and Financial Mail, on Monday offered voluntary retrenchment packages to its more than 200 employees in a bid to cut costs.

Financial newspapers in South Africa are in for a tough ride as advertising revenue generated from JSE-listed companies is expected to decline come January next year. Listed companies will now be required to make only short-form results announcements in newspapers rather than publishing huge spreadsheets.

It is unclear how many jobs need to be cut at BDFM, which is trading at a loss. As part of the cost-cutting measures, staff members will not be paid a bonus this December.

The publisher is also pushing ahead with the integration of the Financial Mail and Business Day newsrooms to reduce costs.

It reserved the right to decline applications for voluntary retrenchment.

"The company is offering voluntary retrenchment packages to all staff with the proviso that it has the right to decline applications based on essential skills," according to a staff memo issued on Monday. "Staff wishing to take early retirement will be encouraged to do so with no loss of benefits."

The memo also said: "Management understands the stresses and uncertainties that conditions of this nature have on staff members and assures all employees that they will be treated with the utmost respect during this time. In an attempt to alleviate the stress suffered by staff, management has given the assurance that this process will be handled as speedily and efficiently as possible."

BDFM is a 50:50 joint venture between Times Media Group and Pearson in the UK.

• Read more about this on Wednesday in Business Day.