Daily Mail owner profits drop 47 per cent

LONDON - Daily Mail & General Trust has reported a pre-tax loss of £239 million for the six months to 29 March.

Daily Mail... DMGT newspaper
Daily Mail... DMGT newspaper

The owner of the Daily Mail revealed an 85 per cent drop in operating profit at its regional arm, Northcliffe Media, and a 59 per cent fall in its national newspaper division, Associated Newspapers.

The £239 million loss compares with a profit of £23 million a year earlier. DMGT stated it had seen an unprecedented fall in advertising revenues.

On an adjusted basis and removing other exceptional charges, the company's half-year pre-tax profit was £77 million, a drop of 47 per cent compared with £144 million a year earlier.

DMGT said that cost-cutting would help to offset weak advertising in the second half of 2009. The company added that cost-saving and revenue would improve profitability by £150 million this year.

DMGT's chief executive, Martin Morgan, said: "The overall first-half result has been badly affected by the impact of the recession on our consumer media advertising revenues."