LONDON (Reuters) – The publisher of Britain’s Daily Mail <DMGOa.L> said it was cautious about the outlook as it simplifies the group in the face of challenging markets, particularly weak advertising.
Daily Mail & General Trust said its guidance for the full-year remained unchanged but said it expected slower revenue growth in the second half of the year due to difficult conditions in the ad market as well as its property information division.
The Consumer Media business, known as DMG Media, is expected to post a mid-single digit underlying fall in revenues and an operating margin of around 10 percent. Revenue from the unit fell 3 percent in the six months to the end of March.
Underlying growth from its website MailOnline was more than offset by decreasing circulation revenues, down 6 percent, and declines in print advertising, down 3 percent.
At the group level it reported six-month underlying revenue up 1 percent to 746 million pounds and flat operating profit at 84 million pounds.
Daily Mail received a boost earlier this month when it said it would receive a 642 million pound windfall from the sale of ZPG, the owner of online property portals Zoopla and PrimeLocation to private equity group Silver Lake.
“Most recently, the expected disposal of our stake in ZPG Plc is a clear demonstration of our long-term approach to value creation,” Chief Executive Paul Zwillenberg said.
“As a result of this portfolio activity, our balance sheet will be strengthened considerably, enhancing our financial flexibility for balanced capital allocation.”
(Reporting by Kate Holton, Editing by Paul Sandle)