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Metro and Mail help DMGT to £146.3m profit

Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) has reported pre-tax profits of £146.3m for the year to 3 October, buoyed by cost-cutting and the record performance of its Daily Mail and Metro titles.

DMGT: results boosted by Daily Mail's performance

DMGT: results boosted by Daily Mail's performance

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The group’s performance in the full year ending 3 October was also aided by increased ad revenue and an improved performance in its B2B business.

But the group is still battling a difficult regional newspaper market, and Northcliffe, its regional division, reported a fall in underlying revenue and advertising revenue.

DMGT reported total revenues of £1.97bn, a fall of 4.6% year on year.

Its pre-tax profits performance was much improved from its £300.7m loss in the previous year, while operating profits came in at £222.2m compared with a £170.4m operating loss in the previous year.

Martin Morgan, chief executive of DMGT, said: "Trading exceeded our expectations throughout the year. Our international business-to-business companies have delivered excellent profit growth, demonstrating strength across the portfolio."

Morgan said the group remained "cautious" about the medium-term outlook but was "well placed" to invest in the business.

Across Associated Newspapers, its national newspaper unit, operating profit – including the losses made by its failed London Lite title and its closed Teletext service – leapt 54%, from £62m to £95m.

Revenue across the division, however, was down from £876m to £850m, which the group attributed to costs of now closed or sold businesses.

Underlying advertising revenue at the division was up by 7% to £347m, driven by the performance of the Metro. Retail advertising, the group’s largest category, was up 14% in revenues on the year.

At Northcliffe, which includes regional titles such as the Hull Daily Mail and Nottingham Post, revenue was down 10%, from £328m to £294m in the period.

Operating profit was up from £24m to £30m and the company stated that its restructuring costs had prompted cost savings of £26m in the period.

But the unit continues to battle a tough advertising market and recruitment advertising, impacted by public sector cuts, had been hit hard, falling 19% in the period.

Northcliffe has attempted to offset the tough advertising market by cost cutting and has cut 242 jobs.

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