Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) has revealed increased revenue and operating profits as it chases an online global news model.
The publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper, admitted advertising revenues at its UK regional titles were down 6.7 percent in March and April and that in May there were "worsening trends" from the negative figures.
"It seems that economic conditions in the UK will be tough in the second half and this is having an impact on our local media operation," the group said in a statement.
Despite challenges to its regional newspaper division, revenue increased by five percent, as did its operating profit, according to its interim results for the first half year, ending 31 March, 2008.
The healthy numbers were due to growth from its business-to-business divisions, including its Technology unit, and the continued strength of Associated Newspapers, which publishes the Daily Mail newspaper.
The company said it was following a strategy of product development investment, both in print titles and online advertising systems.
“Most of our businesses have performed well despite the conditions in the global financial and property markets,” said the Viscount Rothermere, chairman of DMGT. “We continue to believe that our strategy of creating a diversified portfolio across both business and consumer media products leaves us well positioned to deliver long-term growth.”
In the House of Lords yesterday Lord Rothermere said the future vision for his media empire is global, and announced a tie-in with the Washington Post to sell online advertising. Rothermere claims the Mail is in the top 10 most viewed newspaper websites in the US.
DMGT said it had completed a 12-month investment into its websites, which it said delivered a substantial increase in traffic and a revenue increase to £4.5 million.
Associated Northcliffe Digital, which includes web based marketplace businesses such as Jobsite, Findaproperty and Primelocation, saw revenues rise by 12 percent to £46 million, although operating profit fell by £3.6 million.
“DMGT continues to focus its digital strategy on driving profitable growth from sustainable business models and optimising its portfolio of assets,” it said in its results.
In April Computer Associates was selected by the Associated Newspapers division to provide business service management software. As part of the roll out, Association Newspapers will adopt ITIL methodology for 700 different business services.
Associated Newspapers publishes the Metro and London Lite free newspapers in London, as well as the Evening Standard and Mail tabloids.