Daily Mail profits at lower end of forecasts

City A.M. Reporter
Media group Daily Mail & General Trust expects its full-year operating profit to be lower than last year after weak advertising revenues hit its consumer business.

The company, whose flagship Daily Mail newspaper is the top-selling mid-market tabloid, said underlying revenue at its A&N consumer media business was down three per cent in the 11 months to the end of August.

The fall, due to higher printing costs and weaker ad revenues in the retail and travel sector, overshadowed a much stronger performance from the Business unit, which posted underlying revenues up nine per cent.

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

"We expect some growth in earnings per share compared to last year, given lower finance and tax costs, but at the lower end of market expectations."

For the 11 weeks to 18th September, total underlying advertising revenues were down one per cent, however this was a significant improvement on the previous quarter to June, which was down seven per cent.

The company said that adjusted operating profit for the 2009/10 financial year, as restated, was £301m and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) were 46.3 pence.