Belfast Telegraph

Daily Mail owner warns of profit fall

By Jamie Grierson

The owner of the Daily Mail has warned that weak advertising and circulation revenues would leave operating profits lower than a year ago.

Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), which also owns the Mail on Sunday and more than 100 regional titles, said its consumer division saw a 3% dip in revenues, including a 1% fall in advertising sales, in the 11 months to the end of August.

Chief executive Martin Morgan said: "Despite our continued focus on operational efficiency, the weak consumer advertising environment means that full year group operating profits will be lower than last year."

However, revenues from the group's business-to-business operations, which include publications such as Euromoney Institutional Investor, were up 8%, helping lift overall group revenues in the period by 1%.

Analysts expect full-year operating profits of £293m for the year to September, compared to £303m last year.

DMGT increased the weekday cost of the Daily Mail in July by 5p to 55p in an attempt to offset the continuing high cost of newsprint - the first price hike since April 2008.

The group said circulation revenues were weak due to the temporary impact of promotional price reductions over the late summer at the Mail on Sunday.

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