The Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) describes its financial performance for the full year as “robust’ in Group results released for the year to 30 September 2019, despite a reported revenue dip of 1% (£1,411m versus £1,426m in 2018) and operating profit of 0%.
The underlying results, which the group said were in line with expectations, were brighter, showing DMGT achieving 2% underlying revenue growth, 6% operating profit and 10% underlying cash operating income growth.
Consumer Media had a strong year, growing underlying revenues by 2%, while B2B revenues grew by 2% on an underlying basis. This performance reflected growth from EdTech, Insurance Risk and Events and Exhibitions.
Paul Zwillenberg, CEO, commented: “We have continued to deliver successfully against our three strategic priorities of increasing portfolio focus, improving operational execution and maintaining financial flexibility. Over the last three years, we have moved from 10 sectors to five, from 40 operating companies to eight and from net debt of £679m and a debt:EBITDA ratio of 1.8 to pro forma net cash of nearly £250m. In April 2019, we returned almost £900m of capital to our shareholders in the form of Euromoney shares and a £200m special dividend.
“We will continue with our active portfolio management approach, focusing on those assets that have the potential to drive good returns through strong cash flow generation and growth in capital value. We are now in the next phase of the Group’s transformation, optimising our business through targeted and disciplined investment whilst maintaining significant financial flexibility to enhance shareholder value. The recent acquisition of the ‘i’ demonstrates the opportunities we have to invest in high quality, content-led businesses with a compelling strategic and financial rationale.”
The Group results said that “in FY 2020, Group revenues are expected to be broadly stable on an underlying basis and DMGT will continue to invest, in line with its long-term approach”.