DMGT reports on "historic year"

Jo Francis
Friday, November 19, 2021

DMGT has reported full year results that reflect a period of huge change at the group.

DMGT put up the price of the Daily Mail but not the Mail on Sunday
DMGT put up the price of the Daily Mail but not the Mail on Sunday

Adjusted pro forma sales were down 1% at £885m while operating profits were up 5% at £66m in the year to 30 September. 

The period has involved disposals, acquisitions and the ongoing plan to take the business private.

CEO Paul Zwillenberg described it as a “truly historic year”.

“The financial strength of the Group today is a reward for the consistent and disciplined strategy we have followed, with our clear goals of increasing portfolio focus, improving operational execution and maintaining financial flexibility.  DMGT is now more tightly focused in three sectors with a notably higher weighting to Consumer Media,” he said.

He said that in its Consumer Media division the group saw “good revenue and profit contribution growth from MailOnline” and a “solid performance from the Mail print titles driving profit contribution growth for the Mail businesses as a whole”. 

“Unsurprisingly, the commuter newspaper Metro and our Events business continue to be significantly impacted by the pandemic.”

The group said that decline in newspaper volumes had been partly offset by Daily Mail cover price increases of 10p to £1.10 for the Saturday edition in January 2020, and 10p to 80p for the Monday to Friday editions in March 2021.

“The Mail newspapers' competitive positions remain strong, with large and growing UK retail market shares held by the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday, estimated to be 27.3% and 24.5% for the year respectively,” the group stated. 

It has already flagged that is likely to cut jobs, rather that put up the price of its papers again, due to spiralling newsprint costs. 

In October 2020 DMGT’s DMG Media business acquired three printing plants from JPIMedia in a £10m deal “to strategically strengthen its position in the newspaper production market”. 

Printing publications for third-parties generated £10m of “low-margin revenues in the year”, while the plants, now renamed Associated Printing, made a £3.1m operating loss. 

DMGT made a ‘bargain purchase’ gain on the deal as the assets acquired were valued at £13.9m.

New Scientist, acquired in March for a total consideration of £74.5m, contributed £13.3m in sales and £3.1m in operating profit for the period. 

Zwillenberg added: “Looking ahead, DMGT will continue to invest, prioritising organic opportunities and taking advantage of technological change, whilst maintaining a long-term perspective."

The business moved the printing of its weekend supplements to YM Group in October, after the year-end. 

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