Daily Mail publisher DMG Media sees revenue fall by £15m in first half of year, new financial results show

Daily Mail publisher DMG Media saw revenue fall by £15m in the first half of this year, compared with the same period last year, new figures show.

The group, which also publishes the Mail on Sunday, Mail Online and Metro titles, made £335m in revenue over the six months to the end of March.

Adjusted operating profit over the period was up by £2m to £38m.

Circulation revenue for the publisher was down 6 per cent year-on-year to £147m, while print advertising was down 9 per cent to £64m.

This decline was partly offset by a 5 per cent growth in digital advertising revenue at Mail Online to £61m and a 10p cover price hike since October last year for the Mail on Sunday.

Taken in isolation, the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday saw revenue fall by 6 per cent year-on-year, or £15m, to £219m.

Circulation revenue for the two national newspapers was down £8m over the half-year period, compared to the same period last year, while advertising income was also down by £7m.

Mail Online saw revenues climb by £1m, or 2 per cent year-on-year.

DMG Media parent company DMGT said that while Mail Online “continues to grow the number of visitors coming directly to its site”, its “indirect traffic, notably via search and social platforms, has reduced”.

It said this resulted in the total number of average daily unique browsers on the website during the six-month period falling by 9 per cent to 13.6m.

“These challenging market conditions resulted in the slowing underlying revenue growth rate for Mail Online in the period,” it said.

Total advertising revenues across the combined Mail titles was £124m, down 3 per cent year-on-year.

According to the figures, Metro was up by £3m, or 8  per cent, on the same period last year. It was said to have “delivered a robust revenue performance in the context of a declining print advertising market”.

DMGT saw its revenue fall by £144m in the first half of the year, largely the result of its decision to sell off assets on the B2B side of the company in the last couple of years.

The group reduced its stake in financial information business Euromoney and sold off US property information business EDR, student research firm Hobsons’ Solutions and viral video-sharing website Elite Daily.

DMGT made £746m in the six months to the end of March, according to adjusted revenue figures published today.

It also saw a fall in adjusted profit before tax of £2m year-on-year.

DMGT chief executive Paul Zwillenberg said the performance was “in line with expectations”. He said the company’s consumer media arm had delivered a “strong performance” in “challenging market conditions”.

Overall adjusted advertising revenue was down by £4m year-on-year for both print and digital to a combined total of £168m, while adjusted circulation revenue fell by £8m to £147m. Together these make up more than 40 per cent of DMGT’s total revenue income.

Forecasting for the year ahead, DMGT said the “challenging conditions in the advertising market are expected to continue” with further circulation decline anticipated.

It said full-year revenues are “expected to be in the mid-single digits”.

Zwillenberg added: “Although progress during the period was encouraging, we remain cautious about the outlook as we continue to transition the Group during challenging market conditions for some of our businesses.

“However, the Board remains confident that the Group’s strategy and strong balance sheet will, over the medium term, deliver consistent earnings growth to underpin DMGT’s long-standing commitment to sustainable annual real dividend growth.”

Read the 2018 half-year financial report.

Picture: Reuters/Toby Melville

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  2. “Total revenue for Daily Mail owner DMGT has fallen by £144m to in the first half…” To what? To Quality Tory Journalism?

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