DMGT reported that its Consumer Media business performed especially well in the period, with underlying revenues 1% higher. The Group’s B2B businesses delivered 2% underlying revenue growth and margin improvement over the period.
Paul Zwillenberg, Chief Executive, said: “I am pleased that we have delivered a good performance in the first half of the year, achieving underlying growth in revenue, cash generation and profit. Consumer Media delivered a particularly strong performance and our B2B portfolio continued to grow.”
“The strategy we are pursuing is transforming our Group and I am encouraged that it is delivering results. The distribution of our stake in Euromoney and the special dividend was a defining moment for DMGT. In total, we returned nearly £900m to our shareholders and, as a result, we have significantly increased the focus of our portfolio. Despite this considerable capital return, our balance sheet remains strong and we are confident that we can invest for growth and maximise our true potential.”
“I would like to thank everyone throughout the Group for their continued commitment and hard work in delivering this performance.”
Performance by business, as reported by DMGT:
Insurance Risk revenues were stable on an underlying basis as the benefit of favourable contract renewals during the first half was offset by the impact of industry consolidation as well as historic RMS(one) delivery issues. Adjusted operating margin increased from 17% to 22%.
In EdTech, Hobsons grew revenues by an underlying 14%, with continued growth from each of the three product lines: Naviance, Intersect and Starfish. It also delivered strong underlying profit growth.
Property Information revenues were stable on an underlying basis. Revenue growth from the US businesses, Trepp and BuildFax, was offset by the European business which continues to face challenging conditions in the UK. Property Information’s adjusted operating margin remained flat at 18%.
Energy Information revenues were flat on an underlying basis. Energy Information delivered continued growth from the core oil and gas sectors which was offset by the power sector, where market conditions have become more challenging. Energy Information’s adjusted operating margin improved significantly to 9%.
Events and Exhibitions revenues grew by 2% on an underlying basis. Big 5 Dubai and ADIPEC, two of the business’s three largest events, were held in November 2018 and collectively delivered underlying revenue growth despite challenging conditions in the Middle East, notably in the construction sector.
Consumer Media revenues grew by an underlying 1% to £343m, benefitting from favourable conditions in the advertising market. The underlying growth from MailOnline of 16% more than offset a 3% decrease in print advertising revenues and a 2% decrease in circulation revenues. The Mail brand remains strong, reflected in the large and growing market shares held by the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday of 25.3% and 22.6% respectively. MailOnline continues to focus successfully on attracting traffic directly to its homepages, on desktop and mobile, and to its apps. Total minutes spent on the site decreased marginally by 1% to a daily average of 145m, with growth being achieved in the second quarter. Metro also delivered a strong performance following the integration of the advertising operations of the Metro and Mail in April 2018, with revenue growth of 12% in the period.
Overall, DMGT says it has made further good progress against its strategic priorities in the year, with the distribution of its stake in Euromoney and special dividend a defining moment for the Group.
“Our balance sheet is strong and we are well placed to invest for growth and maximise our potential. Our vision for DMGT’s future remains unchanged; we seek to deliver profitable growth across a diversified portfolio, driven by our long-term approach to investment and increased focus on innovative technologies,” says the company.
Read the full results here.