Thursday 22 July 2021 8:30 am

Daily Mail owner posts revenue rise amid Rothermere takeover bid

The owner of the Daily Mail has reported a sharp rise in revenue in its latest quarter as it gears up for a potential take-private bid by Lord Rothermere.

Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) said its group revenue grew by a quarter in the three months to the end of June.

This was driven by strong growth in the company’s business to business information division, in particular for its property units Landmark and Trepp.

DMGT’s consumer division, which includes the Mail titles and Mail Online, as well as Metro, the i and the New Scientist, also grew by more than a fifth.

In media, DMGT said a decline in circulation was offset in part by cover price increases and growth in digital subscriptions.

Total advertising revenues were down four per cent for the nine-month period, with a sharp fall in print advertising partially offset by digital ads.

While the London-listed company posted strong growth in the latest quarter, group revenue was down three per cent on an underlying basis for the nine months of the end of June.

This was largely due to a sharp downturn in its events and exhibitions division during the pandemic and its move out of the ed tech sector following its $410m sale of Hobsons in March.

DMGT said it had a strong cash position of £294m at the end of June. Cash outflows during the third quarter included a £17m investment in digital textbook firm Kortext, payment of the interim dividend and annual bond interest.

The update comes just a week after DMGT announced that Lord Rothermere was planning a bid to take the group private.

The deal, which would depend on the successful listing of Cazoo and the sale of DMGT’s insurance risk business, would value the slimmed-down company at £810m.