DMGT warns of “continued uncertainty” in ad market

Daily Mail and General Trust has warned of a “continued uncertainty” over the medium term advertising market after reporting its ad revenue slowed since December.

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Total ad growth grew 2% for the five months to the end of February, slower than the 6% experienced in the first three months of that period.

DMGT says its outlook for B2C business will be cautious this year, “given the external economic environment and fragile consumer confidence in the UK”.

At Associated Newspapers, which houses the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, ad revenues grew by 2% in the quarter to 20 March, down from 6% in the three months to 2 January.

The group blamed tougher comparatives with the same period in 2010 when advertisers – such as the Government, which has slashed advertising spend – were spending more.

However, its MailOnline website, the most popular newspaper site in the UK, helped boost advertising revenue, “supplementing the more subdued and volatile print advertising” market.

DMGT’s regional arm Northcliffe Media saw underlying revenues down 8% for the period. This included an 8% drop in advertising and 3% drop in circulation revenue.

For the quarter to March so far, Northcliffe Media advertising revenues are 12% lower than last year, although DMGT says this is also against tougher comparatives with 2010.

Earlier this month Associated Newspapers appointed Metro MD Steve Auckland to help turnaround its struggling regional division.

Overall, DMGT revenue for the period was up 2% last year largely boosted by its B2B operations Euromoney Institutional Investor and Risk Management Solutions. Revenues from the group’s B2B operations were up 11% for the period.

DMGT will report its half year end results on 3 April 2011.

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