Daily Mail's financial update confirms tough press market

The UK's press market has had another tough trading start to the year, with widespread falls in print circulations and advertising spend, as typified in a financial update by the Daily Mail & General Trust today.

Daily Mail: total revenue for DMG Media fell 6 per cent year on year
Daily Mail: total revenue for DMG Media fell 6 per cent year on year

In the five month period to the end of February 2015, advertising revenue at DMG Media, the division that houses the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, tumbled 13 per cent and circulation revenue 4 per cent.

Total revenues for DMG Media fell 6 per cent year on year for the five month period, with the publisher resorting to finding solace in the sector’s favourite claim that it "continued to gain market share", including a record 23.2 per cent of share for the Daily Mail in February 2015.

When figures for DMG Media’s Villarenters, Metro Play and Evenbase assets are extracted following their disposals last year, total underlying ad revenues were up 1 per cent, with newspapers down 6 per cent, newspaper companion websites (mainly MailOnline) up 20 per cent and other digital advertising (mainly Wowcher) up 29 per cent.

DMG Media’s outlook has not improved since 2015. Advertising revenues are now falling in the double-digits, as they do for much of the wider print press market, while circulation revenues continue to fall at 4 per cent.

Amid the tough trading conditions, MailOnline, which achieved its best ever month for Global Average Daily Unique Visitors in February of more than 14.7 million, continues to drive growth.

MailOnline’s digital ad revenues hit £5 million (20 per cent) to £29 million, partly offsetting the £7 million (9 per cent) decline in print advertising revenues, to £76 million at the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday for the same period.

MailOnline’s global monthly unique browsers in February stood at 220 million, up 32 per cent on last year. Much of MailOnline’s growth in traffic and, increasingly, revenues is being driven by video.

In February, the news site achieved 82.2 million global plays across its website and apps, up 32 per cent month-on-month and 145.8 per cent year on year.

Elsewhere in the group, freesheet Metro’s performance was said to be "resilient", bucking the trend with print ad revenues rising 4 per cent.

However, the biggest growth in DMG Media came from daily deals site Wowcher, with revenue growth of 34 per cent, and a substantial database of 6.5 million subscribers, an increase of 40 per cent year on year.

Revenue growth v prior year (5 mths to Feb 15)

Reported

Underlying

Q1

2 mths

5 mths

Q1

2 mths

5 mths

 dmg media

-6%

-8%

-6%

-2%

-2%

-2%

 Advertising

-11%

-15%

-13%

+2%

+1%

+1%

 Circulation

-4%

-4%

-4%

-4%

-4%

-4%

In the wider DMGT group, underlying revenue was said to be in-line with last year over the five months period, with a reported 24 per cent lift in revenue for DMG Events, 8 per cent for DMG Information and a 6 per cent rise for its B2B division.

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