Daily Mail owner reports tough ad spend climate

DMGT, owner of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro newspapers, says national advertising revenues were “weak” over its third quarter.

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Overall revenues rose 2% on an underlying basis for the third quarter to £495m.

The company’s results were bolstered by a “continuing strength” in the B2B international portfolio. The B2B operations’ underlying revenues are up 8%, year on year, to £229m.

Revenues at national newspaper division Associated Newspapers fell 6% to £207m with total underlying ad revenues down 7%. In June they fell 9% “against a backdrop of high street uncertainty”.

Digital revenue in the newspaper division rise 51% in the quarter and print fell 12%.

In terms of categories, retail ad spend dropped 15% and travel and financial spend each fell 9%.

Digital only businesses grew revenue by 2%.

The publisher points out that it raised the cover price of the week day Daily Mail last week (18 July) and overall head count continues to shrink.

It says that, as usual “visibility on future newspaper advertising performance is very limited” but there are early signs of improvement in July and the July to September comparatives are less demanding for Associated.

Revenues for regional newspaper division Northcliffe, now headed by Steve Auckland, dropped 10% to £59m.

Chief executive Martin Morgan said that DMGT expects to achieve some growth in earnings per share for its full financial year, despite the “volatile and uncertain market conditions faced by the UK consumer business.”

The Mail on Sunday has been targeting readers of the now defunct News International title News of the World to boost its circulation.

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