Earnings: Motors.co.uk Knocks AND Profit, Mail Online Made £4 Million In H1

Setting up its new Motors.co.uk classifieds portal knocked a whopping £3.6 million off Associated Northcliffe Digital’s operating profit in the half-year to March 30, which settled at just £2.2 million. The site was first launched by AND’s new Digital Automotive Division unit in January ’07 with the print vehicle classified market collapsing around it; it acquired a motor trade CRM system, has dealer advertising deals and is carried by Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Cars and DMGT’s own Northcliffe regional websites. Heavy marketing for other sites also drained the bottom line.

AND revenue grew 12 percent to £46 million, with revenue from Jobsite, Findaproperty, Primelocation and Motors.co.uk itself up 20 percent. Who’d be lumbered with all those classifieds sites ahead of a recession? DMGT acknowledged AND’s “key sites are now facing tougher market conditions” but are growing market share. Recently, AND even set up a website of its own finally.

Revenue from Mail Online trebled to £4 million after what was “significant investment for the first time”. The site has has just made its cluttered new beta design live. Overall, DMGT scored £166 million profit on £1.16 billion revenue – both five percent up.

Teletext: The ailing TV info service, still struggling to find a place in the digital world, posted another £3 million operating loss on revenues that continue to tumble – down 16 percent to £17 million. DMGT said that was “affected by the delay in the rolling out of Teletext Extra“, it new Freeview EPG, and Teletext’s online business is now profitable.

National: Associated Newspapers’ ad revenue grew four percent to £242 million across all sectors except travel. But those pesky classifieds ads fell 10 percent to £43 million.

Regional: Tougher still in the locals. Northcliffe operating profit fell by £4.9 million to £33.8 million on two percent smaller revenues. Ad revenues fell 3.8 percent to £131 million – with especially pronounced losses in the second quarter for properties, jobs and motors hinting at an economy that may be battening down the hatches.

B2B: DMG Information saw its property revenue fall, too, but saw 10 percent better revenue overall, albeit with profit dipping two percent on product investment.

Release & Financials