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Daily Mail & General - First Quarter Trading Update

RNS Number : 6557A
Daily Mail & General Trust PLC
23 January 2020

23 January 2020


Daily Mail and General Trust plc ('DMGT')


First Quarter Trading Update FY 2020


First quarter trading in line with expectations and outlook for FY 2020 unchanged



·     DMGT Group revenue up 1% on an underlying¹ basis, in line with expectations

·     Solid performance across B2B and Consumer Media

·     Acquisition of the 'i' for £50m in November 2019; CMA review in process

·     Pro forma net cash² £160m at 31 December 2019

·     Outlook for FY 2020 unchanged



Revenue growth v prior year

3 months to 31 December 2019

Revenue share

Q1 FY 2020

 Reported growth

Underlying¹ growth

Group revenue








  Insurance Risk




  Property Information








  Events and Exhibitions




  Energy Information




Consumer Media3





Business to Business (B2B)

·     Underlying revenue growth of 1%, reflecting continued growth from EdTech and Insurance Risk partly offset by the expected challenging market conditions for Property Information and Events and Exhibitions

·     Reported revenues down 8%, reflecting disposals, notably of Genscape, the Energy Information business that was sold in November 2019


Insurance Risk (RMS)

Underlying revenue growth of 3% was achieved, driven by continued growth in subscription revenues and favourable contract renewals.  The accelerated delivery of RMS's product roadmap is on track and we remain encouraged by the level of customer engagement.


Property Information

Revenue decreased by an underlying 2%.  The majority of Property Information revenues are generated in the UK, where challenging market conditions for property transactions affected Landmark Information Group.  This was partly offset by growth from Trepp in the US.  Reported revenue performance was impacted by the absence of On-geo, which was sold in June 2019, and BuildFax, which was sold in October 2019.


EdTech (Hobsons)

Underlying revenue growth of 9% was driven by continued strong performances from Naviance, Intersect and Starfish.


Events and Exhibitions (dmg events)

Revenue decreased by an underlying 1%.  ADIPEC and Big 5 Dubai, two of the business's three largest events, were both held in November and collectively delivered stable revenues.  The majority of Events and Exhibitions revenues are generated by events based in the Middle East, where market conditions remain challenging.


Consumer Media 

·     Underlying revenue growth of 2%, including 17% digital advertising growth; performance in line with expectations

·     Reported revenue growth of 2%; results include one month's trading for the 'i', the UK national newspaper and website, which was acquired at the end of November 20194


Q13 Revenue growth v prior year



Consumer Media










Circulation revenue declined an underlying 6%, reflecting expected volume reductions, and by 3% on a reported basis, including the 'i'. The Mail Newspapers titles continued to grow their market shares5.  Advertising revenues grew an underlying 9% with 17% growth in digital advertising and 3% growth in print advertising6 in a benign market environment.  MailOnline achieved strong growth as it continued to deliver high levels of engagement with the direct audience7


In January 2020, the cover price of the Saturday edition of the Daily Mail was increased from £1.00 to £1.10.


The UK Competition and Markets Authority, as well as Ofcom, is in the process of reviewing the acquisition of the 'i'.  Consequently, the business is currently being operated and managed independently.



Net cash and portfolio management

Pro forma net cash² at 31 December 2019 was £160m compared to £247m at 30 September 2019, reflecting the usual seasonal cash outflows and the acquisition of the 'i' for £50m, partly offset by proceeds on the disposal of BuildFax.  In December 2019, Landmark Information Group made a small bolt-on acquisition to strengthen its conveyancing capabilities.  OneSearch Direct provides property information and conveyancing solutions to solicitors and other customers throughout England and Wales.



Group outlook

The FY 2020 Group outlook, as detailed at our Full Year Results on 5 December 2019, is unchanged and in line with market expectations8.  Group revenues are expected to be broadly stable on an underlying basis and the cash operating income margin is expected to exceed the adjusted operating margin, which is expected to be around 10%.




For further information


For analyst and institutional enquiries:

Tim Collier, Chief Financial Officer

+44 20 3615 2902


Adam Webster, Head of Investor Relations


+44 20 3615 2903

For media enquiries:

Doug Campbell / Paul Durman, Teneo

+44 20 7260 2700


Conference call

A conference call will be held with City analysts at 8.00am on 23 January 2020.  The dial-in number is +44 (0)20 3059 5868.  A recording of the call will be available on DMGT's website at www.dmgt.com.


Next trading update

The Group's next scheduled announcement of financial information will be its results for the half year ended 31 March 2020, which will be released on 28 May 2020.


About DMGT

DMGT manages a portfolio of companies that provide businesses and consumers with compelling information, analysis, insight, events, news and entertainment.  The Group take a long-term approach to investment and has market-leading positions in consumer media, insurance risk, property information, education technology and events & exhibitions.  In total, DMGT generates revenues of around £1.3bn.





1 Underlying revenue is revenue on a like-for-like basis, adjusted for constant exchange rates, the exclusion of disposals and closures, the inclusion of the year-on-year organic growth from acquisitions and for the consistent timing of revenue recognition.  For events, the comparisons are between events held in the year and the same events held the previous time.  For Consumer Media, underlying revenues exclude low margin newsprint resale activities.


2 The actual net cash position as at 31 December 2019 was £198m including c.£79m of additional lease liabilities in respect of the adoption of IFRS 16, the lease accounting standard.  Excluding the additional lease liabilities, net cash would have been £277m.  However, £117m has been made available to the Group's pension schemes but continues to be held as cash by DMGT.  The pro forma net cash of £160m as at 31 December 2019 is stated after adjusting to deduct the £117m cash and to exclude the c.£79m of IFRS 16 related lease liabilities.  The pro forma net cash of £247m as at 30 September 2019 also deducted the £117m made available to the pension schemes and excluded IFRS 16 related lease liabilities, since the accounting standard applied to DMGT from 1 October 2019. The pro forma net cash as at 30 September 2019 also included gross proceeds from the disposal of Genscape, which was agreed in August 2019 but completed in November 2019.


3 Consumer Media results are for the thirteen weeks to Sunday 29 December 2019 and are compared to the same thirteen week period of the prior year.


4 The reported growth rates include revenues from the 'i' for the month of December 2019 in Q1 FY 2020 but do not include any revenues from the 'i' in Q1 FY 2019.  For the purposes of calculating the underlying growth rates, the Q1 FY 2019 revenues are adjusted to include revenues from the 'i' for the month of December 2018.  


5 The Daily Mail's market share of UK retail sales averaged 25.9% during the three months to 31 December 2019 (Q1 FY 2020), an increase from 25.2% in Q1 FY 2019, and The Mail on Sunday's UK retail market share averaged 23.2%, an increase from 22.4% in the three months to 31 December 2018 (Q1 FY 2019). Circulation market share figures are calculated using ABC's National Newspapers Reports, excluding digital subscribers.


6 Underlying advertising growth rates include 9% growth across the Mail titles, with a 1% underlying decline in print advertising being more than offset by 17% underlying growth from MailOnline.


7 MailOnline's average global daily unique browsers during Q1 FY 2020, excluding other platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook video, were 15.5 million, up 29% compared to Q1 FY 2019, driven by increased indirect traffic via search and social platforms.  The average daily total minutes spent on MailOnline during Q1 FY 2020, excluding time spent viewing videos, was 129 million, up 4% compared to Q1 FY 2019, with continued high levels of engagement with the core direct audience.


8 Current City analyst expectations for DMGT for FY 2020 are based on the eight analysts that have updated their projections since the Full Year 2019 results were released on 5 December 2019.  Expectations range from £1,331m to £1,362m for revenue, from £99m to £110m for adjusted profit before tax and from 34.0p to 37.4p for adjusted basic earnings per share with a consensus of £1,342m, £107m and 36.4p.  Adjusted results are stated before exceptional items, other gains and losses, impairment of goodwill and intangible assets, amortisation of intangible assets arising on business combinations, pension finance credits and fair value adjustments.


The average £:$ exchange rate for the three months was £1:$1.29, consistent with £1:$1.29 in the same period last year.



This trading update is prepared for and addressed only to the Company's shareholders as a whole and to no other person. The Company, its Directors, employees, agents and advisers accept and assume no liability to any person in respect of this trading update save as would arise under English law.  Statements contained in this trading update are based on the knowledge and information available to the Group's Directors at the date it was prepared and therefore facts stated and views expressed may change after that date.


This document and any materials distributed in connection with it may include forward-looking statements, beliefs, opinions or statements concerning risks and uncertainties, including statements with respect to the Group's business, financial condition and results of operations. Those statements and statements which contain the words "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "estimate", "expect" and words of similar meaning, reflect the Group's Directors' beliefs and expectations and involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future and which may cause results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by those statements and forecasts. No representation is made that any of those statements or forecasts will come to pass or that any forecast results will be achieved. You are cautioned not to place any reliance on such statements or forecasts. Those forward-looking and other statements speak only as at the date of this trading update. The Group undertakes no obligation to release any update of, or revisions to, any forward-looking statements, opinions (which are subject to change without notice) or any other information or statement contained in this trading update. Furthermore, past performance of the Group cannot be relied on as a guide to future performance. 


No statement in this document is intended as a profit forecast or a profit estimate and no statement in this document should be interpreted to mean that earnings per DMGT share for the current or future financial years would necessarily match or exceed the historical published earnings per DMGT share.


Nothing in this document is intended to constitute an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity. This document does not constitute or form part of any offer for sale or subscription of, or any solicitation of any offer to purchase or subscribe for, any securities nor shall it or any part of it nor the fact of its distribution form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract, commitment or investment decision in relation thereto. This document does not constitute a recommendation regarding any securities.




Daily Mail and General Trust plc

Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street,

London, W8 5TT



Registered in England and Wales No. 184594

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