BDFM, which publishes Financial Mail and Business Day, has advised its staff that the company is considering retrenchments.

The publisher said yesterday that despite efforts to reduce expenses, BDFM remained in a “very tight trading position and finds itself having to reduce expenses further” amid “imminent” losses of revenue following changes to the JSE regulations on the publishing of financial results.

Michael Spicer, the BDFM chairman, said last night: “I’m unable to comment at this stage. Maybe at a later stage.”

BDFM is a joint venture between Times Media Group, which owns the Sunday Times, and Pearson.

BDFM said it found itself in “an unfortunate situation, where economic trading conditions continue to tighten, revenue and advertising volumes are declining and expenses are being tightly managed”.

In a memorandum to employees, which Business Report has seen, BDFM said it was offering voluntary retrenchment packages to all staff, but it reserved the right to retain staff with essential skills.

The deadline for applications is December 7, while the date of termination from the company will be December 31.

Those choosing voluntary retrenchment could receive two months notice pay; two weeks severance pay per year of service according to the company policy; an additional one week a year of service as a voluntary severance package or any additional leave due to the employee; pensioner/ provident fund reserves and unemployment insurance fund benefits.

Workers who are already 55 years and older could also opt for early retirement and would retain their benefits.

The traditional print media industry worldwide is facing tough times as the migration of readership to digital sources of news and entertainment gnaws at margins.

After 79 years Newsweek, an American publication, will print its last edition at the end of December and from then on will publish digitally only.