MailOnline advertising helps to soften events blow at DMGT
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Pressure on advertising at the commuter newspaper Metro and the absence of corporate events have weighed on sales and profits at Daily Mail and General Trust at a time of upheaval for the UK-based media group. Yet the popularity of its tabloid news site MailOnline helped soften the blow, as digital advertising accounted for two-thirds of total ad revenues across the Mail titles.
DMGT’s annual results on Thursday, which showed a 1 per cent decline in underlying revenues, come as its founding Rothermere family seeks to take the London-listed company private. They were released a day after the company said that Geordie Greig was standing aside as editor of the Daily Mail, its flagship title, to be replaced by Ted Verity, editor of the Mail on Sunday.
Mail insiders have interpreted the management changes as elevating the status of Martin Clarke, who runs MailOnline.
Statutory revenues from continuing operations at the company, which has made a series of disposals in a wide-ranging restructuring in recent months, rose from £870m to £885m in the year to the end of September, although they declined 1 per cent on an underlying basis.
Finance expenses of £15.6m pushed DMGT to a pre-tax loss of £2.4m. This compared with a pre-tax profit of £33.7m the previous year, when the company made gains on disposals.
The Rothermeres’ take-private bid gave DMGT an enterprise value of £850m excluding dividends and has been recommended by DMGT’s independent directors, but requires approval from shareholders.
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