Daily Mail General Trust claims trading 'in-line' with expectations despite Northcliffe Media losses
The Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) has said that its trading is ‘in-line’ with expectations, despite seeing a decline in Northcliffe Media's total revenues by 9% to £53 million. Announcing its first quarter financial details for the first three months to 1 January 2012, the publisher of the Daily Mail announced that revenue was £495m, a growth of 2%. The publisher also said that it would continue to focus on operation efficiency, despite witnessing further market share gain by the Mail titles, include Mail Online. The B2B operating of DMGT increased by 3% on the same period in 2011 to £224m, although a reduction in event revenue was also experienced, 24% down to £34m, due to an absence of a ‘major biennial event. A&N Media reported a 2% decrease on the previous year’s revenue. Down to £272m, while the division’s overall headcount had been decreased by 160 to 6,710. A&N Media also closed it printing facility on 27 January, and sold 50% of its holding in Teletext to its management, as well as disposing of Top Consultant last week (2 February). Associated Newspapers said that its total revenue of £219m was ‘in-line’ with last year, and that circulation revenue was 5% higher, with benefit resulting from an increase in the cover price for the Daily Mail, which was increased in July and then again in October last year. Total advertising revenue also continued to fall by 2%, with Associated Newspapers advertising down by 4%, print down by 7% but digital increasing by 61%. MailOnline also saw its traffic grow with 99 million unique browsers recorded in January alone, according to Omniture – an increase of 77% on January 2011 and 15 million higher than December 2011, while the an online version of the site for the Indian market was also launched last month. Northcliffe Media however saw its revenues decrease by 9% to £53m, with circulation falling by 7%, which the company said was due to the move for four of its titles to go from daily to weekly and the transfer to wholsale distribution. Advertising revenue also fell by 10%. Revenue affected by circulation decline will be offset through cover price increases for Northcliffe’s titles. Martin Morgan, chief executive for DMGT, said:"We have made a solid start to the year with trading in the first quarter in line with our expectations. Overall our B2B operations achieved good underlying revenue growth, whilst our consumer media operations were resilient with increased national circulation revenues which, together with a strong digital performance, offset a decline in print advertising revenues. Whilst we acknowledge the continuing external uncertainties, particularly for UK advertising, the outlook for the year remains unchanged."