Shares in Daily Mail owner rise yet profits dip

Charlotte Henry
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SHARES in Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), the group behind the Daily Mail newspaper, jumped nearly six per cent yesterday after it reported half-year results to 31 March.

Reported revenues dropped one per cent from the first half of 2014 to £922m, and reported profits before tax were down four per cent to £146m.

The company blamed the sale of the Jobsite website, and the biannual Gastech trade show not taking place for the dip. On an underlying basis revenue was up one per cent.

The Daily Mail’s website, Mailonline, has become one of the world’s most visited news sites. It is famous for its picture-heavy stories, particularly celebrity gossip that appear on the side of the website, known as the “sidebar of shame”.

The website now has an average of 14m average unique browsers a day in March – up 24 per cent on the year.

Mail titles brought in advertising revenues of £131m. There was an eight per cent decline in print advertising, partially offset by 20 per cent rise in MailOnline’s advertising sales.

Finance director Stephen Daintith told City A.M. “What we are doing successfully is building a digital platform which is able to an extent to compensate for the decline in print advertising that we see.” Shares in DMGT closed up 5.82 per cent.

•After the close, Rothermere Continuation Limited sold 2.8m DMGT shares for £9.50 each, via an accelerated book-build. “It was met with strong institutional investor demand and was closed in just over an hour,” said UBS, the sole bookrunner.