Thursday 29 November 2018 9:38 am

Daily Mail owner posts 16 profit dip as online revenues overtake print advertising for first time

The group that owns newspaper the Daily Mail said today its profit before tax fell 16 per cent in the last financial year sending shares sliding.

The Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) said pre-tax profit had slipped 16 per cent to £182m in “challenging trading conditions”.

In an illustration of the changing nature of the sector, it said advertising revenue from its online operations had overtaken its revenue from print advertising for the first time.

Revenue was down nine per cent at £1.426bn, and earnings per share down 23 per cent at 42.2p.

DMGT’s statutory results showed profit of £692m, thanks to the sale of its stake in ZPG, the owner of property website Zoopla, to US private equity firm Silver Lake partners in July.

The MailOnline's revenue grew five per cent on an underlying basis to £122m.

Full-year dividend increased three per cent to 23.3p.

Chief executive Paul Zwillenberg said: “DMGT's performance during the year was in line with our expectations despite some challenging trading conditions.

“Our B2B businesses delivered broad-based underlying growth and consumer media continued to outperform its markets. MailOnline continues to perform well and has reached an important milestone with digital advertising revenue now exceeding the Mail's print advertising revenues.”

Following the results announcement shares in DMGT fell more than 10 per cent to 617p.

Editorially, the Mail has undergone a significant shifts this year, with longstanding Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre stepping down, to be replaced by Mail on Sunday editor Geordie Greig.

Under Greig, the Mail has taken a much softer line on Brexit than previous editor Dacre.