The publisher of the Daily Mail has acknowledged that the Brexit vote has “created some uncertainty” in the UK advertising market – but has reported a pick-up in revenue since the referendum result emerged.
Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) has reported a one per cent growth in advertising revenues across DMG Media – the division which publishes the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Mail Online and Metro – in the three weeks after the Brexit result.
An eight per cent decline in print advertising turnover was more than offset by a 19 per cent growth in digital advertising. City A.M. understands Mail Online’s UK revenue was up 27 per cent during this period.
DMGT's finance director Stephen Daintith told City A.M. that revenue has been boosted by department stores, motoring companies and bookmakers placing adverts.
“The rate of decline in newspaper advertising appears to be slowing down, and we’re encouraged by that. And the second thing that’s happened as well is we’ve seen digital advertising growth accelerate in the last few weeks,” he said.
“The early signs are that for many of our advertisers and many businesses it’s business as usual.”
He added: “Notwithstanding what one might have thought might have been a difficult period post-Brexit, in fact we’re seeing an improvement in performance. It’s only a short period, so we should be careful not to read too much into that. But I think certainly at this early stage we’re encouraged by the performance.”
DMGT’s share price, which has more than recovered from an initial drop after the Brexit vote, was up two per cent at the time of writing to 689p.
In the quarter to 30 June, DMGT reported a one per cent rise in underlying group revenue.
Total advertising revenues across the DMG Media division during this period were down by an underlying four per cent. DMGT said a 10 per cent decline in print advertising was partly offset by a 12 per cent growth in digital advertising.
Away from DMG Media, DMGT’s business-to-business division reported a three per cent rise in revenue, while its Risk Management Solutions (RMS) business was up five per cent.
On the Brexit vote – which the Daily Mail, but none of the other DMGT newspapers, campaigned for – the company said: “The 'Brexit' result of the UK referendum has created some uncertainty, notably in respect of the UK advertising and property markets.
“However, DMGT continues to benefit from being a diversified portfolio operating in multiple sectors across B2B and consumer markets, with the majority of operating profits being earned outside the UK.”