Growth at the owner of the Daily Mail newspaper ground to a halt in the first quarter, sending shares diving seven per cent.
Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) revenue grew just one per cent in its b2b business and shrank one per cent on an underlying basis on the dmg media side, which includes MailOnline and Metro, for the three months to the end of December.
Overall, revenue across the business was flat at £520m for the period compared to the previous year, though the figures were still in line with expectations.
Circulation revenue across its newspapers was up three per cent, which the group put down to a price increase offsetting a fall in the number sold. Meanwhile, advertising continued its decline, falling four per cent - print revenue declined 11 per cent, almost offset by a 10 per cent rise in digital.
Why it's interesting
The media company, along with the rest of the industry, continues to battle the decline in print advertising, although it still claims to be "significantly outperforming the national newspaper advertising market". But digital failed to perform as well as it could have - it was "adversely affected by the prior year including £7m of revenues from Wowcher, which was disposed of in November 2015".
DMGT sold off part of its stake in the Euromoney business just before Christmas as part of a review of its portfolio.
What DMGT said
"Revenue and profit for the full-year 2017 outlook: profit outlook unchanged; dmg information's revenues in line with market expectations, although underlying revenue growth rate reduced to mid-single digit."
What analysts said
"This displays the benefit of DMGT's portfolio business that it can offset weakness in individual parts of the business. Our focus remains on the reorganisation of the portfolio which we believe will help realise the value of the combined assets," said analysts at Liberum.
DMGT is looking a little flat this quarter, but is still on course for full-year forecasts despite a lowering of dmg information's revenue growth forecast.