With 74 per cent of its profits coming from its business to business activities, Jonathan Harmsworth's Daily Mail and General Trust group is becoming increasingly less reliant on its national newspapers for its financial growth.
So it comes as no surprise to the CAPITALIST to hear there have been some vigorous discussions within the DMGT boardroom about the name of the group and whether it should be changed to better reflect the higher growth businesses the company is associated with, such as digital jobs sites and exhibitions etc. “I think the discussion has been going on for some time,” said one source.
Some sources have suggested that Harmsworth himself is wedded to keeping the association with the Daily Mail in the company's name, whereas chief executive Martin Morgan and finance director Stephen Daintith have been proponents for a change.
After all, companies such as insurance group Aviva have used a name change to project a new image.
The arguments for DMGT doing the same are pretty strong since paid for newspaper titles are hardly where stock market investors rushing to invest their cash. And therefore they are tending to trade oin lower multiples than their higher technology peers, such as satellite operator BSkyB.
Whatever the merits of a change, it looks as if Harmsworth has won the argument for now, after some months of discussion. "There are no plans to change the name just now," a main board director said.