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DMGT’s consumer media profits bounced back by 46 percent over the last year – but, as with many companies lately, that’s mainly the benefit of recent cost savings including job cuts.
Group annual pre-tax profit is 23 percent up to £247 million, despite revenue falling six percent to £1.98 billion. B2B publishing still makes up two thirds of DMGT profit, but CEO Martin Morgan reckons fortunes for A+N, the consumer business, are looking up again.
- Associated Newspapers – digital income up 54 percent to £12 million, thanks mainly to growing Mail Online traffic (Metro.co.uk is also in the portfolio).
- Northcliffe Media – digital income up 13 percent to £17 million.
- The former Associated Northcliffe Digital – revenue up only one percent to £95 million, profit up from £5 million to £6 million after Jobsite’s marketing costs phased out.
CEO Martin Morgan: “We recognise that our future is largely digital, whether it be in the consumer or the B2B markets. Our performance reflects the significant progress made in our digital and online products.”
Away from digital, Associated’s national newspaper circulation sales fell two percent, though the Mail increased its share in a declining market; Metro’s ad sales rose seven percent.
From the investment analysts meeting…
CEO Morgan on Mail Online: “There is only a 30 percent overlap between the web and print products. We are increasingly the audience footprint of the Daily Mail (LSE: DMGT) franchise. We see this as positive, not negative news. We are going to give it a really big shot to build a significant business around Mail Online in the U.S.. I can’t guarantee it’s going to be a success.”
“We’re not ideological about this issue of paid content versus free content … We are not intending to charge (on web), we are going for a very large audience. On (mobile and tablet) applications, we are going to try and charge. They won’t be identical products – the trick, obviously, is to create a particular product that works well on that device. It seems that consumers are willing to pay (on mobile and iPad, on which the Mail will launch in the New Year).”