Daily Mail owner buoyed by online growth amid sliding newspaper sales

The Daily Mail’s parent company saw sales and profits slip for the year despite its online operations helping to weather the continued downturn in newspaper sales.

The Daily Mail General Trust (DMGT) saw pre-tax profits slip 21% to £145 million for the year to September 30.

Meanwhile, revenues dropped 1% to £1.4 billion for the year on the back of sliding sales for the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday newspapers.

Revenues for the Mail titles dropped 4% to £406 million, however this was largely offset by the continued growth of the MailOnline.

The online division saw revenues jump 14% to £140 million, while the business was hailed as being “solidly profitable”.

DMGT also reported an 11% jump in sales for the Metro to £79 million, as total sales across the consumer media division rose 3% to £672 million.

However, the division was hampered by falling print advertising revenues, which fell 8% over the period.

The company recently reaffirmed its commitment to print news with the acquisition of The i for almost £50 million last week.

Chief executive Paul Zwillenberg said the acquisition highlights the firm’s strategy to invest in “high quality, content-led businesses”.

DMGT reported a slump in business-to-business revenues, which fell 4% to £738 million after disposals in the property information and energy information sectors.

Mr Zwillenberg said: “We have continued to deliver successfully against our three strategic priorities of increasing portfolio focus, improving operational execution and maintaining financial flexibility.

“We will continue with our active portfolio management approach, focusing on those assets that have the potential to drive good returns through strong cash flow generation and growth in capital value.

“We are now in the next phase of the group’s transformation, optimising our business through targeted and disciplined investment whilst maintaining significant financial flexibility to enhance shareholder value.”

Shares in the company moved 1.4% higher to 809p in early trading on Thursday.

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