DMGT sees decline in ad sales improve

DAILY Mail publisher DMGT has reported an improved outlook for its national newspaper division, with the decline in advertising revenue slowing from seven per cent in the last quarter, to three per cent in the first three weeks of this month.

Overall, the company said its underlying revenues in the quarter to 2 July were up by two per cent from last year to £495m. Meanwhile, it reduced net debt by £29m to £820m.

But chief executive Martin Morgan stressed the increase in takings came from strength in its specialist business publication arm, where underlying revenues rose by eight per cent to £229m.

“In contrast, conditions within our consumer business have been tough with advertising revenue weak over the quarter,” he said.

DMGT has cut staff numbers in its newspaper division by seven per cent since the start of the year, with local paper division Northcliffe hardest hit.

Associated Newspapers, its national paper publishing arm, saw circulation revenue drop three per cent, but both the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday improved their market share.

The mid-market Mail on Sunday’s circulation has picked up by about 500,000 to around 2.4m since the News of the World closed in the wake of the hacking scandal.

DMGT is considering launching its own mass-market Sunday tabloid and Morgan said there is no need for DMGT to internally examine news gathering practices as its titles “have not published stories based on hacked messages”.