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DMGT forecasts drop in full-year profit

Daily Mail publisher reports ad decline at regional titles, but Mail Online boosts national digital revenues

Daily Mail & General Trust has forecast a fall in full-year operating profit, with advertising revenue at the publisher’s regional titles down 11% in the 11 weeks to 18 September.

DMGT reports that underlying revenues at A&N Media, the subsidiary that includes Associated Newspapers, the company’s national and regional newspapers, were down 3% year on year in the 11 months to the end of August.

However, Associated reported on Tuesday a 54% year-on-year rise in digital underlying ad revenue, driven by MailOnline, the UK’s most popular newspaper website.

Overall, Associated’s underlying ad revenue fell 1% year on year in the quarter, compared with a 7% fall in the previous three-month period.

DMGT said the “significant improvement” in its ad revenue was down to a particularly strong performance by freesheet Metro and improving trends at the Daily Mail.

“DMGT has delivered a solid revenue performance over the year to date, driven by continued strength in our B2B operations offset by difficult market conditions for our consumer businesses,” said Martin Morgan, DMGT’s chief executive.

“Despite our continued focus on operational efficiency, the weak consumer advertising environment means that full-year group operating profit will be lower than last year. We expect some growth in earnings per share compared to last year, given lower finance and tax costs, but at the lower end of market expectations.

“Going forward our focus will remain on driving organic growth, operational and financial efficiency and pursuing an active portfolio management approach.”

More details soon…

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