Buoyant demand for specialist information, events and risk management software at Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) was tempered by print weakness and declines at its Euromoney subsidiary. The Metro publisher's underlying sales were flat in the reported period, but adjusted operating profit slumped 11 per cent to £277m.
Underlying sales of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday newspapers fell 5 per cent, as total print advertising and circulation revenue slid 12 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively. But they climbed 19 per cent to £93m at MailOnline, as average unique monthly browsers of the news and entertainment website grew by 8 per cent. That limited the division's underlying top-line decline to 2 per cent, but sharp decreases in newspaper profit meant its adjusted operating income shrank 23 per cent to £77m. Meanwhile, reduced spending on information and events among financial and commodity clients meant Euromoney's comparable sales and profit both fell.
Underlying sales crept upward in the risk management software (RMS) and events businesses. The former benefited from strong demand for software subscriptions, supported by new and updated models on marine cargo, terrorism and floods. Meanwhile, the latter's gains were underpinned by solid performances from the Big 5 Dubai and ADIPEC events, offsetting weaker interest in oil and gas events due to the low oil price. The events segment also launched spin-off events such as the Windows and Doors Show in Dubai, and replicated its petroleum show in Egypt. But the star performer was DMGT's information division: strong showings from Genscape and Hobsons, its energy and education businesses, fuelled 6 per cent growth in both underlying sales and operating profit.
Broker Numis expects adjusted pre-tax profit of £266m for the September 2017 year-end, giving EPS of 56.1p, up from £260m and 56p in FY2016.
|DAILY MAIL AND GENERAL TRUST (DMGT)|
|ORD PRICE:||783p||MARKET VALUE:||£2.64bn|
|TOUCH:||782.5-783p||12-MONTH HIGH:||836p||LOW: 571p|
|DIVIDEND YIELD:||2.8%||PE RATIO:||14|
|NET ASSET VALUE:||104p*||NET DEBT:||128%|
|Year to 30 Sep||Turnover (£bn)||Pre-tax profit (£m)||Earnings per share (p)||Dividend per share (p)|
Ex-div: 8 Dec
Payment: 10 Feb
*Includes intangible assets of £1.48bn, or 439p a share