DAILY Mail General Trust (DMGT) yesterday reported a boost in its national newspaper division, with the Daily Mail and Metro both recording record operating profits.
Group revenue slipped six per cent for the year but pre-tax profit climbed 23 per cent as cost cutting measures kicked in.
The publisher saw overall profits at Associated Newspapers – its national newspaper division – rise 54 per cent, even taking into account losses made by the failed London Lite.
Metro, the group’s star performer, now ranks as the third largest national newspaper by circulation.
The results were buoyed by the steady recovery of the UK advertising sector and a stringent cost cutting programme.
Revenues at Associated Newspapers slipped three per cent but underlying revenue, taking into account discontinued operations, grew five per cent.
Chief executive Martin Morgan struck a cautious note, saying: “I do not think any of us really knows how British consumers are going to behave with the VAT rises.”
However, he says that at a micro level DMGT is performing ahead of forecasts. He said: “Trading exceeded our expectations throughout the year.
“Our international business-to-business companies have delivered excellent profit growth, demonstrating strength across the portfolio.
“Our UK consumer businesses have achieved a sharp improvement in profitability reflecting the actions taken to reduce costs and to eliminate loss-making activities, and growth in our national advertising.”