Daily Mail warns US costs may reach pounds 20m

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DAILY Mail and General Trust warned yesterday that its share of losses and development costs from investments in US educational and healthcare communications will be between pounds 15m and pounds 20m this year, writes Terence Wilkinson.

Shares in DMGT, which publishes the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, eased on the news, with the non-voting 'A' shares falling 10p to 1255p.

In December the group indicated that its results would be affected this year by revenue investment in US educational projects. Spending on new newspaper supplements and the London cable channel would also depress results.

Whittle Communications, in which DMGT holds a 24.9 per cent stake, is expected to incur pre-launch costs on the next stage of expanding Medical News Network, an interactive television network for the US pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.

But Whittle's experiment in a video-based network for doctors' waiting rooms has been scrapped, leading to closure costs that will be charged to DMGT's results for the year to September.

In a separate move DMGT is increasing its stake in Whittle Schools from 22 per cent to 40 per cent in return for further investment in the Edison project on US school management.