DMGT confident it can make progress in 2012

DMGT has reported pre-tax profit fell 15% in its last financial year but says cost cutting and a growing contribution from its B2B businesses will help it make progress in 2012.

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Pre-tax profit came in at £125m on group revenue up 1% to £1.9 billion for the year to 2 October.

The results show that the group’s B2B arm continues to grow its share of contribution to profit, up to 74% from 67% last year, while more than half of the group’s operating profits were again derived from outside the UK. Its businesses include Euromoney and Risk Management Solutions.

The UK consumer business has been hit by the weak advertising environment and A&N Media saw profit fall 20% for the year. The national newspaper arm is down 2% and the regional newspaper arm Northcliffe down 10%.

Looking ahead, the advertising revenue bookings for Associated for the first seven weeks of its new year are down 2%. The publisher expects circulation revenues to be boosted by the impact of the Monday to Friday cover price rise for the Daily Mail that was introduced in July and for the Saturday edition in October 2011.

Overall, Associated expects to achieve low single digit revenue growth due in part to the Olympics and further cost efficiencies.

Northcliffe has already seen a fall of 7% in ad revenue in the new financial year but is now focused on building new revenue opportunities from its print and digital products.

Chief executive Martin Morgan says: “DMGT has delivered a solid set of results. Notwithstanding the challenging trading conditions, the underlying revenues of Associated Newspapers were unchanged.

“Furthermore, Mail Online is now a global name in news and on course to become the world’s biggest English language newspaper website. Whilst first quarter trading to date has been reasonable, we remain cautious about the medium term outlook, given continuing external uncertainties, particularly for UK advertising.

“Our strategy remains focused on innovation-led growth, talent development and improved operating effectiveness. We are a more focused and financially stronger Group today, which makes us confident that we can make real progress in 2012.”

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