Thursday 23 March 2017

Regional newspaper woes weigh on profit at 'Daily Mail' owner

Media

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

PROFITS at the owner of the 'Daily Mail' slumped last year, as the company continued to be hobbled by its regional newspaper business in the UK.

Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), which controls Associated Newspapers -- the parent of the 'Daily Mail' and 'Mail on Sunday' newspapers -- said profits after tax from continuing operations for the year to October fell almost 32pc to £127.5m (€148.3m) from £185.9m a year earlier. Revenue was up marginally to £1.99bn from £1.97bn in 2009.

The drop was due mainly to continuing problems at its Northcliffe Media arm, which controls a number of regional publications in the UK. Operating profit at that business tumbled 37pc to £17m on revenue that fell 10pc to £236m.

Associated Newspapers saw operating profit fall 15pc to £76m on revenue that dropped 2pc. Associated expects "low single-digit revenue growth" this year, due in part to the anticipated boost from the 2012 London Olympics.

Company chief executive Martin Morgan said: "DMGT has delivered a solid set of results. Our international B2B companies have increased their revenues and profits by 10pc and 13pc on an underlying basis respectively.

"Our UK consumer businesses have been impacted by the weak advertising environment, particularly in the third quarter, and higher newsprint costs resulting in profits down 20pc for the year. Notwithstanding the challenging trading conditions, the underlying revenues of Associated Newspapers were unchanged."

DMGT closed down marginally in London trading.

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