Daily Mail owner sees advertising improve

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The Independent Online

Daily Mail & General Trust has predicted a "significant increase" in its interim results this year as profitability and advertising at its newspaper business improved in the three months to March.

The group, which owns The Daily Mail and around 100 other regional titles, yesterday reported a 13 per cent drop in revenues in the five months to the end of February. But DMGT said its revenues had only decreased by 5 per cent up to the end of February on an underlying basis, ignoring the effects of acquisitions, disposals and closures.

In the quarter to March, DMGT reported an 8 per cent rise in advertising revenues at its national newspaper division year on year, while the fall in advertising revenues at its regional division Northcliffe slowed to 5 per cent over the same period, down from 10 per cent in the five months to the end of February.

DMGT said overall margins and profits had risen since last year. "The trends in our UK consumer media businesses have continued to improve. Trading has continued to be ahead of our expectations, but we remain cautious about the second half of the year, particularly in the light of political uncertainty in the UK after the general election."

The publisher also warned that visibility on future advertising at its national titles remained "very limited".

Shares in DMGT slipped 1 per cent to 493.4p.