DMGT looks to halve 'Standard' losses

Losses at London's Evening Standard newspaper should halve from the £10m-plus deficit seen last year as a result of cost-cutting and improving market conditions, the paper's owner said.

Daily Mail & General Trust, the newspaper group that publishes the Standard, yesterday reported a 29 per cent jump in underlying pre-tax profits to £107.3m, for the six months to 4 April. Despite continuing losses at the Standard, the company said it was performing well in its national and local newspaper divisions.

There is speculation that DMGT may be preparing for a rights issue to help fund the acquisition of The Daily Telegraph, which has been put up for sale. It is thought that the winning bid would be more than £600m.

Lorna Tilbian, an analyst at Numis, said: "We believe the first equity issuance since 1931 [at DMGT] is the most likely route for financing a winning bid for the Telegraph."

The Rothermere family holds 88 per cent of the voting shares and 26 per cent of the non-voting shares. In the past, the Rothermeres have not been prepared to see their holding diluted but industry sources pointed out that buying the Telegraph was a once in a lifetime opportunity. However, others have suggested the purchase could easily be financed by taking on more debt. DMGT yesterday reported that debt had fallen by £64m to £809m.

Peter Williams, DMGT's finance director, would not comment on how the acquisition would be financed. But he warned that the company would pay only a "sensible" price for the deal. Many believe that Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, one of the two other bidders, are willing to pay a "trophy" price for the title.

Mr Williams said: "We are only interested in an investment that you can see providing a decent return. There is no necessity for us to buy it."

He added that losses at the Standard would fall more than £5m this financial year and that "with luck" it would be profitable next year. "The Standard is a cyclical product. London is very cyclical. It has gone into loss before and come out if it," Mr Williams said.

Operating profits at DMGT's national newspaper division, which holds the Standard, Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, rose £14.4m to £50.2m, in the interim period. Advertising revenues at the nationals were up 6 per cent. March was 13 per cent higher and April was up 12 per cent.

DMGT said the advertising recovery was "patchy" with some categories, such as retail, growing, while other advertising sectors, such as personal finance, remained negative.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...