Double-digit revenue growth at Mail Online has more than offset falling print revenues at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, new half-year financial figures for Mail and Metro owners the Daily Mail and General Trust show.
Mail Online grew its revenues to £76m for the six months to the end of March, a rise of 25 per cent on the same period last year.
This is despite the UK’s biggest news website continuing to see a drop in traffic from social media as a result of algorithm changes made by Facebook to its News Feed last year that hit the site’s browser numbers.
Mail Online’s primary source of income is advertising as its content is free.
Print revenues from the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday combined were at £208m, a fall of five per cent made up of a three per cent fall in ad revenues (to £57m) and a two per cent fall in circulation revenues (to £144m).
In total the Mail businesses reported revenues of £284m, up slightly year-on-year.
DMGT’s financial statement said: “The Mail brand remains strong, reflected in the large and growing market shares held by the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday of 25.3 per cent and 22.6 per cent respectively.”
Free daily newspaper the Metro grew its revenues by 11 per cent to £41m.
The Mail and Metro titles combined recorded total revenues of £343m for the first half of the year, a rise of three per cent on the same period last year.
Adjusted operating profit for consumer media was up by two per cent year-on-year to £39m.
As a whole, DMGT’s adjusted pre-tax profits fell by three per cent year-on-year to £100m. But on a statutory basis, pre-tax profits more than halved from £113m to £50m.
DMGT made turnover of £724m for the six-month period, down 3 per cent on the first half of 2018. However, adjusted results show underlying double-digit growth in profits.
The group returned £862m of capital to shareholders in April this year, including £200 from distributing its stake in Euromoney.
DMGT chief executive Paul Zwillenberg said: “DMGT delivered a good performance in the first half of the year, achieving underlying growth in revenue, cash generation and profit.
“Consumer media delivered a particularly strong performance and we saw continued growth in our B2B portfolio.”
He said the company continued to pursue a strategy of “transforming DMGT and delivering results”, adding: “We are confident we can invest for growth and maximise the portfolio’s true potential, continuing the transformation we started three years ago.”
The company said it was “cautious about the remainder of the year” despite a “stronger than expected” half-year performance by DMGT’s consumer media arm. It said it expects revenues to be in the low-single digits for the full year 2019 with an operating margin in the high single-digits.