Mail Online Income Quickening After U.S. Expansion

Mail Online’s annual revenue growth rate has accelerated to a high of 70 percent following its big push in to the U.S., its publisher DMGT reported in Wednesday’s interim disclosure for its October-to-January earnings.

The site clocked a whopping 99 million unique browsers in January, it said, citing its own Omniture (NSDQ: OMTR) logs – 77 percent up from the previous year and 15 percent up from the previous month. It is not yet profitable, thanks to growth investment.

Relative to its burgeoning audience and relative to rivals, Mail Online’s income has often appeared small. Though actual figures were not given on Wednesday, Mail Online and stablemate together made £19 million through 2010/11, according to a previous disclosure. But that is partly because, unlike peers, DMGT reports the sites’ results separately from a whole set of supporting classifieds sites that make the bulk of its digital money and which make Mail Online look small in isolation.

Those classified sites – including Jobsite, and the Digital Property Group – appear to be recovering from the economic downturn’s battering they faced in 2011, with eight percent quarterly revenue growth and a “solid performance” from the property sites, DMGT says.

Across formats, revenue for Associated Newspapers, the national division in which the Mail sits, is now stable compared with last year, helped by the digital growth off-setting a “weak” print ad market.

But, in DMGT’s Northcliffe regional newspaper division, revenues fell nine percent because the publisher has moved some daily titles to weekly and because ad revenue is a tenth below 2010 rates. The publisher finds itself hiking cover prices to make up for lost sales and continuing to cut costs – it lopped off 12 percent of costs in the last year, including shedding three percent of its staff.

DMGT’s real engine is B2B, not consumer, information, whose revenue rose three percent.