Strong demand for ads helps lift shares at MailOnline owner
STRONGER demand for advertising on news website MailOnline helped owner DMGT report a better-than-expected 19pc rise in first-half profit yesterday, lifting its shares to an eight-month high.
Underlying revenue grew 16pc at MailOnline, one of the world's most widely read English-language newspaper websites, more than three times the rate recorded for the whole of the company's previous financial year.
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"It's great to see MailOnline back to those sorts of levels of growth rates," chief financial officer Tim Collier said. "That's driven by our ability to get traffic to come direct to our portal or our app, which is particularly encouraging."
Facebook reduced the prominence of news websites on its platform last year, prompting daily unique browsers on MailOnline to fall 7pc to 12.7 million.
DMGT, however, was already focusing on the more valuable customers who come directly to its site and app, which often feature show business and celebrity stories. The rise in revenue from online services and its Metro free sheet more than made up for a 5pc decline at its 'Daily Mail' and 'Mail on Sunday' print newspaper titles.
Chief executive Paul Zwillenberg said: "We delivered a good performance in the first half with a combination of underlying revenue growth, cash OI (operating income) growth and profit growth.
"This is on the back of a particularly strong performance in our consumer media and continued growth in our B2B portfolio."
Given the strong MailOnline performance in the first half, DMGT revised its consumer media revenue outlook to a low-single digit decline for the full year, rather than the mid-single digit decline it previously forecast.