y Mail & General Trust showed a remarkable recovery in advertising, with sales for the first quarter of 2010 leaping eight per cent year-on-year.
Display ads led the charge with a rally of 13 per cent, while digital ads rose by three per cent.
The bulk of the recovery was down to a turnaround at its national newspaper division, especially at its flagship Daily Mail. Regional ad sales were slower to react, falling five per cent, compared to a 13 per cent drop last quarter.
However, the firm remained cautious as it braced itself for a lock-down on public sector advertising in the wake of the general election, a major blow given that the government is the UK’s biggest-spending advertiser. A Daily Mail spokesman said: “Trading has continued to be ahead of our expectations, but we remain cautious about the second half of the year.”
Daily Mail’s circulation revenues from national titles fell four per cent for the five months to the end of February, while regional circulation revenues fell seven per cent.
Its business-to-business operations, which include large trade shows and business to business media group Euromoney, bring in over 40 per cent of group sales and have helped offset weakness in its newspapers division.
Daily Mail said total revenues for the five months to the end of February fell five per cent on an underlying basis, with improvements at all its business to business operations excluding events. Overall margins and operating profits continued to improve.