The owner of the Mail titles has reported a return to profit after seeing a slump attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Still, a pronounced reduction in advertising revenue of 45 per cent was seen across print and digital media from March to June, Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) reported today.
The group, which owns the Mail titles, the Metro and the i paper, reported revenue for the three months to 30 June — the company’s financial third quarter — had dropped by 23 per cent to £241m.
Circulation revenue decreased by 12 per cent in the third quarter as a result of the UK lockdown, with media titles overall facing a 30 per cent revenue decrease for the period.
Meanwhile online traffic saw a boom with the MailOnline recording a growth in average daily unique browser traffic to 17.4m in the past nine months – up by 37 per cent year-on-year.
However, DMGT said the outlook remains uncertain following the disruption throughout the lockdown.
“Since March, the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in a pronounced reduction in advertising revenues across both print and digital formats,” DMGT said.
While the total advertising revenues for the nine months decreased by an underlying 12 per cent, DMGT said the 24 per cent decline in print advertising revenue was partly offset by four per cent growth from digital.
The statement added, “Growth in online traffic has helped to mitigate the impact on digital but not enough to compensate for the overall reduction in advertising spend. Metro has been particularly affected as circulation volumes are currently approximately a quarter of their usual levels.”
Alongside newspapers, DMGT also operates businesses handling property information, insurance risk, educational technology, and events.
The company had been tracking a three per cent rise in revenue in February, however growth from the first five months of the year was wiped out by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Mail was one of the few national newspaper groups which did not implement furlough scheme and instead offered staff shares in exchange for a pay cut during the crisis.