Mail Online moved into profit in the last quarter of 2017 and cancelled out revenue decline at its sister print titles.
Parent company DMGT revealed this morning that the world’s most popular newspaper website made revenue of £119m in 2017, up from £93m in 2016, for the full year to 30 September 2017.
This compared with revenue decline of 6 per cent (or £29m) at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday to £455m.
On an underlying basis revenue at the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Mail Online was flat year on year at £574m. Operating profit was said to be up 17 per cent on an underling basis to £71m.
Sister title free daily Metro reported turnover up 4 per cent to £68m and operating profit down 27 per cent at £11m.
These businesses are in the DMG Media division of parent company DMGT.
Digital advertising was up 18 per cent on an underlying basis across the division (underlying figures account for the fact that 2016 was a 53-week business year).
Print advertising was down 5 per cent, compared with 12 per cent in 2016 and digital growth more than cancelled this out.
The figures were also helped by cost savings from the closure of a printing plant in Didcot.
The Mail titles were helped by cover price increases: from 60p to 65p for the Daily Mail, and from £1.7o to £1.80 for the Mail on Sunday.
Total advertising revenues across the Mail businesses increased by £7 million to £248 million, with a £26 million increase in Mail Online’s revenues exceeding a £19 million decline in print advertising.
Mail Online “made particularly good progress growing its revenues from programmatic advertising and through partnerships with other channels”.
US revenues for Mail Online grew by 36 per cent to £36m, helped by DailyMailTV which launched in September 2017 and was said to be attracting 1.3m viewers a night by its 8th week.
The site attracted some 15m daily unique browsers per day over the course of the year, up 4 per cent, and an average of 227m monthly global unique browsers.
Mail Online’s figures were helped by an unspecified “recharge” for editorial content from the Mail newspapers.
Metro’s turnover was boosted by taking on four regional franchises from Trinity Mirror. Profit margin was hit by increased printing and distribution costs.
DMGT predicted that Mail Online will be profitable for the full year in 2018.
Overall DMGT reported revenue down revenue down 13 per cent to £1,660m for 2017 and pre tax profit down 13 per cent to £226m.