Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), owner of the Daily Mail and Evening Standard, claims it is seeing a "gentle recovery" in national advertising sales and has reported strong results due to growth in its digital and business divisions.
The newspaper group reported a 9% increase in pre-tax profits from £237m to £260m in its interim results for the year to October 1. The figure is ahead of analysts’ expectations of £245m.
It claims that its newspapers have performed "credibly under difficult trading conditions". Advertising revenue was down by 6% to £436m with classified sales down by 9% and display down by 4%. It says that the decline in display has slowed, suggesting a recovery in some sectors of the market. Advertising sales at its regional division, Northcliffe Newspapers, declined by 8%.
The decline in some areas was offset by cost cuts at Associated, particularly at the Evening Standard.
It reported that online revenues have doubled to £55m following a string of acquisitions including consumer website Simplyswitch, which it acquired in May.