DMGT bullish despite slump in advertising and circulation
PRINT advertising sank more than two thirds in the three months to the end of June, the publisher of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday said, underlining the impact of the pandemic on the newspaper owner.
Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) said digital advertising revenues were also down 17pc in the quarter, meaning a 45pc decline for ad sales overall. The company, which also owns the
Metro and i newspapers, reported an underlying 44pc slide in operating profit to £63m for the nine months, with a £2m loss for the three months to June – down from a £22m profit in the same period last year. Revenues fell 23pc to £241m in the quarter.
However, DMGT said the newspaper division and all businesses except for its events arm were profitable in June, helping send shares 3.3pc higher. Newspaper circulation fell 12pc in the three months to June, with the Metro title suffering a slide of about 75pc as commuters stayed off public transport.
DMGT said: “Since March, the impact of Covid-19 has resulted in a pronounced reduction in advertising revenues across both print and digital formats. Growth in online traffic has helped to mitigate the impact on digital but not enough to compensate for the overall reduction in advertising spend.”
Group underlying revenues fell 23pc in the quarter to June and were 7pc lower for the nine months, DMGT said in its trading update.
Meanwhile Relx, the FTSE 100 business information publisher and conference group, also reported a plunge in revenue and profits after coronavirus caused cancellations of events. The firm formerly known as Reed Elsevier said sales for the six months to the end of June fell 10pc to £3.5bn and pre-tax profits crashed by a quarter to £858m.
Relx’s conference operation is the smallest part of its business, making up about 16pc of sales, but has long been a steady profit producer. Shares fell 3.6pc to £17. Relx maintained the interim dividend of 13.6p.