Earnings: DMGT Ad Sales Rocked In Worsening Economy

imageAll in all, not a terrible result, considering. Daily Mail (LSE: DMGT) and General Trust group revenue in the three months to June 30 was actually up five percent year-on-year – but the overall masks print advertising weakness that’s accelerating in the dodgy economy…

National: Even in the national Associated Newspapers division, revenue crept up 0.4 percent to £243 million, though sales from ads fell three percent (five percent in display, nine percent in classified). That total, however, factors in ads from Associated Northcliffe Digital, which had been pulling big online increases in recent quarters and growth from which flatters the overall… so the true scale of the print crash isn’t yet clear because proper figures are curiously absent from the report. Also missing – any mention of Mail Online, which became the UK’s top newspaper site in the quarter.

Regional: Locally, where the classified slump bites hardest, Northcliffe Media sales were down five percent to £102 million. Advertising revenue was down 11 percent (most of all, there were 36 percent fewer property ads than last year) – something that accelerated in May (down 12 percent on the year) and June (down 16 percent on the year), and there’s further deterioration already in July. Circulation fell two percent.

Chairman Viscount Rothemere: “Inevitably, the well-publicised deterioration in the UK economy since we last reported in May is having an impact on our newspaper businesses there.” Separately, the Mail On Sunday’s giveaway of McFly’s new album last weekend, following its Prince offer, boosted circulation by 300,000.

B2B looks healthier. DMG Information revenue is up six percent to £78 million and expects full-year profit to grow five percent, Euromoney sales are up 13 percent to £95 million. As a mark of how important it is in the group nowadays, the analysts call this morning was devoted entirely to DMG Information.

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