Daily Mail and General Trust (DGMT) saw its share price fall by as much as 7% on Thursday after it announced a 9% decline in revenues to £1.4 billion and a 16% fall in profit to £182 million in its full year results.
The company, which owns a broad portfolio of media publications including Metro and the MailOnline, saw its media division struggle after it recorded a 9% decline in print advertising.
‘We have made good progress against our three strategic priorities of increasing portfolio focus, improving operational execution and enhancing our financial flexibility,’ DMGT CEO Paul Zwillenberg said. ‘The focus of our portfolio was significantly increased by the disposals of EDR and our stake in ZPG Plc, clearly demonstrating DMGT’s long-term approach to value creation.’
‘As a result, our balance sheet has strengthened considerably, to a net cash position, enhancing our financial flexibility for balanced capital allocation,’ he said. ‘We have also continued to implement a series of operational initiatives across the Group that is starting to gain traction.’
‘DMGT’s performance during the year was in line with our expectations despite some challenging trading conditions,’ he added.
MailOnline surpasses print advertising revenues
Despite a rough fiscal year for DGMT a positive take away was that digital advertising revenues at MailOnline surpassed print ads for the first time, with digital revenues up by an underlying 5%.
‘MailOnline continues to perform well and has reached an important milestone with digital advertising revenue now exceeding the Mail’s print advertising revenues,’ Zwillenberg said.
‘As we move into FY 2019, our vision for DMGT’s future remains unchanged; we seek to deliver profitable growth across a diversified portfolio, driven by our long-term approach to investment and increased focus on innovative technologies.
‘The Board remains confident that the Group’s strategy, supported by our strong balance sheet, will over the medium term, deliver Page 2 consistent earnings growth to underpin DMGT’s long-standing commitment to sustainable annual real dividend growth,’ he added.