DMGT set for higher profit

DAILY MAIL and General Trust is expected to unveil a hike in full-year profits when it announces preliminary results on Thursday, thanks to a recovery in advertising revenues and strong trading at its business-to-business (b2b) division.

Analysts at Numis expect the firm to book pre-tax profits up 23 per cent at £245m for 2009-10, compared to £201m a year earlier, with underlying group revenues up two per cent at £1.97bn.

Sales at its b2b arm, which accounts for around 70 per cent of profits, are expected to be up by around three per cent on an underlying basis, after a strong performance at its information and events businesses.

Trade magazine publisher Euromoney, which is 66 per cent owned by DMGT, also reported a strong set of preliminary results last month, with profits of £71.42m compared to a pre-tax loss of £17.36m in the previous year.

Meanwhile, the consumer division that publishes the Daily Mail and Metro is expected to have grown revenues by one per cent, after display advertising staged a recovery.

However, trading at the firm’s regional Northcliffe division will likely have been tougher. Rivals Johnston Press and Trinity Mirror have both reported lower sales of display advertising on the back of the comprehensive spending review.

“We view the group’s data-centric, high margin b2b businesses as best-in-class and believe that the Daily Mail titles enjoy the demographic, online reach and brand strength to outperform peers significantly both on and offline,” said Numis analyst Dominic Buch.