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December 5, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:41am

Growth at Mail Online and Daily Mail TV helps offset print decline at publisher DMG Media

By Freddy Mayhew

Mail and Metro publisher DMG Media said “relatively favourable” advertising market conditions and growth at Mail Online and Daily Mail TV helped revenues climb by two per cent underlying to £672m in 2019.

Total ad revenues for DMG Media, which publishes the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Mail Online and Metro, were up by an underlying four per cent to £329m for the year to 30 September, new figures published today show.

DMG Media is part of the Daily Mail and General Trust, which bought the i paper from JPI Media for £49.6m in a deal announced last week.

The Mail titles alone made turnover of £559m in 2019, up by an underlying one per cent. Of this £253m was from ad revenues, which were up by an underlying two per cent despite an eight per cent fall in print ad revenues.

Full-year figures show Mail Online revenues grew by an underlying 13 per cent in 2019 to £140m, more than offsetting a three per cent drop in print circulation revenues to £284m and a one per cent fall in print ad revenues across DMG Media as a whole, including the Metro.

Advertising for Mail Online and Daily Mail TV, which airs in the US, made up more than half (57 per cent) of total ad revenues across the Mail titles.

Daily Mail TV grew its revenues by an underlying 61 per cent to £13m. Now in its third season, having launched in 2017, it averages 1.1m viewers a day.

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Indirect traffic to Mail Online, primarily through social media and search engines, fell year-on-year leading to a three per cent fall in total average daily unique browsers to 12.6m. Total minutes spent on the website also fell four per cent to a daily average of 139m.

Metro grew revenues by an underlying 11 per cent to £79m, which the company said was “a good achievement in the context of a declining advertising market”. The free paper has the largest distribution of any UK daily at 1.4m (ABC figures).

Looking to the year ahead, DMGT said digital advertising revenues were expected to grow, helping offset anticipated declines in print.

The company, which also owns B2B businesses, posted group revenues of £1.4bn for 2019, up by two per cent underlying on the year before, and pre-tax profit of £145m, up 19 per cent underlying on the previous year.

Chief executive Paul Zwillenberg said it had been a “robust financial performance” and the group was now in the “next phase” of its “transformation”.

He said this was “optimising our business through targeted and disciplined investment whilst maintaining significant financial flexibility to enhance shareholder value”.

He added: “The recent acquisition of the i demonstrates the opportunities we have to invest in high quality, content-led businesses with a compelling strategic and financial rationale.”

The i generated £11m cash operating income and operating profit from £34m revenue in 2018.

Picture: Reuters/Toby Melville

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