Belfast Telegraph

Daily Mail & General Trust flags Brexit risk despite profits rise

Daily Mail & General Trust, the publisher behind the Brexit-backing tabloid, has seen a rise in full year profits but again flagged that the vote to quit the EU represents a risk to the business.

DMGT, which also produces the Mail on Sunday and freesheet Metro, saw pre-tax profits rise 14% to £247 million in the year ending September 30, while revenue rose 4% to £1.9 billion.

But the company warned that the result of the referendum meant a potential weakening of the economy, "particularly if consumer led, could accelerate the decline in print advertising revenue".

In September, the group said it was axing 400 jobs as it battled against plunging advertising income.

Its financial publishing unit Euromoney could also take a hit from "uncertainty in the financial services sector", the group added.

On the single market, the company said that because it has limited trade with the bloc, it is not dependent on access to it.

Chief executive Paul Zwillenberg said: "DMGT's results reflect the ongoing resilience of the portfolio through varying market conditions.

"Revenues were supported by good organic growth in many of our B2B and consumer digital operations. This was balanced by challenging market conditions for print advertising, property information, energy and financial sectors."

Over the year, print advertising revenue across the group fell 12%. This translated to a 5% dip in revenue at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday to £484 million.

But the group's successful MailOnline operation recorded a 19% rise in sales to £93 million.

Mr Zwillenberg said: "The significant organic and M&A investments made across the group over the past few years have started to bear fruit. Alongside this we have been expanding MailOnline while our newspapers continue to outperform the market.

"The group has many strengths."