DMGT boosted by national ad revenue and digital

The Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) increased revenue by 5% in its first quarter boosted by gains from its online division and national newspaper advertising revenues.

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Digital revenue, which includes earnings for the market-leading Mail Online website, was up 11% year on year, which DMGT attributed to recruitment and property advertisers migrating from local media to the internet.

In November, DMGT said it saw its future revenue growth as “largely digital”.

At Associated Newspapers, the company’s national press division which houses the Daily Mail, Metro and Mail on Sunday, revenue increased by 1% in the period to £211m. However, circulation revenue slipped 1%.

Advertising revenue rose to £497m in the three months to 2 January, despite its regional operation cutting hundreds of jobs and the impact of December weather on distribution and advertising.

Northcliffe Media, its regional arm which owns over 100 local newspapers, saw underlying revenues drop 6% to £59m, despite 6% cuts to publishing costs and headcount down 8% year on year.

Local media has particularly suffered in the downturn as recruitment and property advertising has dropped off, leading to newsroom cuts.

The newspaper group said in an interim management statement today that trading is “in line with expectations” due to good underlying growth from its business to business operations, which includes its Euromoney unit.

Chief executive Martin Morgan says DMGT remains cautious about the medium-term outlook given the economic environment.

He adds: “Our focus will remain on investment to drive organic growth, while continuing to seek to improve operational efficiency and to reduce debt.”

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