Daily Mail and General Trust sees profits crash

The Daily Mail and General Trust media group has reported profits down almost 50% after first-half advertising revenues were hit by the recession.

The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday owner says pre-tax profit for the six months to March 29 slid to £77m, down from £144m a year earlier. Revenues across the group fell 7% in the first-half to £1.1bn.

Revenues from the group’s Associated Newspaper division, which includes the two national titles as well as London free newspaper London Lite, decreased 10% to £455m while local media division Northcliffe Media was among the group’s hardest hit divisions, down 23% to £166m.

Losses in its newspaper division were partly offset by gains at business to business publisher Euromoney Institutional Investor, up 4% on last year.

Martin Morgan, chief executive of the group says continued “management of its cost base” will help the group “offset the effect of continued weak trading conditions” in the second-half.

The group has already started a cost-cutting programme, announcing it was axing 1,000 jobs at its regional newspapers in March.

DMGT’s results follow recent revenue declines at rival newspaper groups Trinity Mirror, which saw ad revenues slump 30% in the first four months of the year while Johnson Press posted a 34% dip.

DMGT recently sold the majority interest in London Evening Standard to Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev.

Like rival traditional newspaper publishers it is grappling with how to increase its online revenues.

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