Online expansion makes up for downturn at Daily Mail owner

THE OWNER of the Daily Mail newspaper posted a rise in underlying revenues yesterday as the phenomenal success of the MailOnline website made up for declines in the company’s print newspaper business.

Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) said underlying revenues – which stripped out factors such as the disposal of its local paper arm Northcliffe – were up two per cent in the half year to April at £915m while profit was also up at £137m.

Much of this was down to a 61 per cent rise in revenues at MailOnline, which the company said was offsetting declining advertising sales from the company’s print titles, which include the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro.

Meanwhile, the company’s business publishing division, which is now a bigger part of the business than the newspaper arm, saw revenues rise by seven per cent.

Local World – the new regional newspaper group formed from Northcliffe’s titles amongst others – has been more profitable than expected in its early months, the company said. DMGT gained a stake in Local World when it sold Northcliffe to the group last year.

“Our UK consumer business continued to [see] challenging conditions and underlying revenues were slightly down, although the increase in digital revenues more than offset the decline in print advertising,” chief executive Martin Morgan said.