Publisher Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) has reported a marked decline in advertising revenues for its first half results, pulled down by further declines to its print advertising.
While DMGT’s digital advertising revenues grew by 23 per cent for the six months ended 31 March 2016, this did not offset an £18m decline in print advertising, a decline of 13 per cent, with advertising across the media group down by 4 per cent overall.
Print circulation revenues were down by 3 per cent due to the continued decline in the circulation volumes of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday. The media group is hoping a price rise in its print editions, with the Monday-to-Friday editions of the Daily Mail increased to 65p in February 2016, will help offset such declines in the second half of the year.
The events side of the business saw healthy growth, with revenues up by 24 per cent. The media group made acquisitions for dmg information, dmg events and dmg media totalling £20m and disposals totalling £112m including the disposal of Wowcher and Local World.
DMGT’s chief executive Martin Morgan announced his retirement at the beginning of the year after 27 years with the media group and nearly eight years as chief executive. He will be replaced by Paul Zwillenberg on 1 June.
Morgan commented: "DMGT’s performance in the first half was broadly in line with our expectations, other than the further deterioration in the UK print advertising market which impacted dmg media’s results.
"Given the particularly weak print advertising market, dmg media is now expected to deliver an operating margin of around 10 per cent for the Full Year whilst the expectations for the B2B businesses remain in line with previous guidance.
"We have continued to actively manage our portfolio of businesses and have made several acquisitions and disposals during the period, in line with our strategy to improve the overall quality and growth prospects of the Group."