Nov 23, 2020

DMGT increases dividend despite one-third fall in profits

DMGT, the owner of the Daily Mail, has increased its dividend despite a grim year for advertising that cut its underlying profits before tax by more than a third in 2020. Underlying revenues fell 10 per cent to £1.2bn in the year to September 30, while profit before tax dropped by 36 per cent to £72m. But DMGT, whose controlling shareholder is Lord Rothermere, approved a 1 per cent increase in the dividend to 24.1p "Despite the weaker profit outlook and deteriorating global economy". Paul Zwillenberg, chief executive, said the decision reflected "Our long-term perspective and our confidence in the future". The year was particularly difficult for DMGT's events and exhibitions business, which suffered a 33 per cent drop in revenue and 83 per cent fall in adjusted operating profit. Underlying revenues at the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday newspaper titles fell 12 per cent to £356m, while MailOnline revenues increased by 3 per cent to £144m. The Metro free sheet was hit harder, with revenues falling 40 per cent in 2020.

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