Mail Online Sales Growing, But AND Dragged Down

Mail Online publisher Associated Northcliffe Digital profit dipped by £5 million and sales fell 20 percent to £70 million in the year to October 4, after the recession hit jobs and homes classifieds and after Jobsite’s marketing campaign swallowed cash.

But, despite the online division itself being dragged down, flagship Mail Online is going in the right direction – in the national Associated Newspapers unit specifically, which largely comprises the Mail, digital revenue is up 11 percent.

And in the regional Northcliffe Media publisher, digital sales held steady from last year at £17 million despite losing 35 percent of its job classifieds.

But some numbers look small – buried in the footnotes: digital’s contribution to Associated Newspapers operating profit appears to have fallen from £6 million to £300,000.

Group-wide, parent DMGT’s B2B businesses couldn’t this time stop it from swinging to a massive loss. Pre-tax losses widened to £401 million, from last year’s £68 million, despite cutting £80 million and 16 percent of staff (1,600) in the consumer news business…

Associated Newspapers (national): “Sharp improvement in profitability”, with ad revenue looking up in the year’s second half. But the restructuring comes with a £101 million exceptional charge, so profit down 15 percent to £62 million, on 11 percent lower revenue of £876 million. Ad revenue down 15 percent to £350 million. Circ sales down two percent after moving Mail On Sunday promos from freebie CDs to attracting more loyal readers.

Northcliffe Media (regional): UK operating profit down 67 percent to £20 million on 24 percent lower revenue of £285 million. Ad sales down 30 percent to £201 million (job ad sales down 49 percent, homes down 46 percent). Circ sales down seven percent.

These consumer news declines were big enough to overshadow DMGT’s far healthier B2B businesses…

Risk Management Solutions: The catastrophe data provider’s op profit is up 37 percent to £42 million after benefiting from a stronger dollar.

DMG Information: The property and geospatial data provider saw operating profit up five percent to £46 million despite weak property markets on boths ides of the Atlantic.

DMG World Media: Exhibition organiser’s op profit down three percent to £37 million as bookings fell.

Euromoney: Op profit basically flat at £77 million as subscription income offset advertising declines.

Teletext losses grew by £1 million to £4 million ahead of being wound down in the new year.

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