DMGT release half yearly figures

At the end of May, Daily Mail and General Trust released its Half Yearly Financial Report for the six months ended 31 March 2021.

DMGT release half yearly figures
Paul Zwillenberg: “I am excited and confident about our future.” Photograph: Daniel Olah on Unsplash.

DMGT reports “Performance as expected given market conditions; realisation of value through portfolio activity”.

As reported by DMGT:

  • Group operating performance reflects B2B Information Services growth offset by B2B Events & Exhibitions and Consumer Media:
    • Revenue down 12% underlying
    • Cash operating income down 13% underlying; 11% margin
    • Adjusted operating profit down 19% underlying; 9% margin
    • Adjusted profit before tax down 20% underlying
    • Adjusted EPS up 12%
  • Interim dividend increased +1% to 7.6p
  • Statutory: revenue £547m; profit before tax £42m, down 45%; EPS 111.3p, up 24%
  • Active portfolio management strategy delivering value creation:
    • Increased investment in Cazoo in October 2020; proposed transaction values stake at c.US$1.35bn vs £117m total investment
    • Disposal of EdTech (Hobsons) for c.US$410m in March 2021
    • Acquisition of New Scientist for £67m in March 2021
  • Strong financial position maintained: pro forma net cash £293m and £362m of committed undrawn bank facilities; statutory net cash £199m
  • Outlook:
    • B2B Information Services: positioned for continued growth
    • Events & Exhibitions: physical events scheduled for H2 but risk of further postponements or cancellations
    • Consumer Media: advertising depends on business confidence and remains unpredictable

Paul Zwillenberg, CEO, commented: “We created significant value for our shareholders during the first half, through active management of the portfolio and continued strong operational execution.

We achieved an attractive price of c.US$410m for the disposal of Hobsons, our EdTech business. This equated to over 50x operating profit, clearly demonstrating the rewards of our approach to organic investment in our businesses and our focus on improved operational performance.

Our financial flexibility enabled us to continue to invest in Cazoo through multiple funding rounds. Despite the near-term economic uncertainty, we had conviction in its opportunity to transform the used car market. Cazoo continues to go from strength to strength and its proposed SPAC combination on the New York Stock Exchange would value our stake at US$1.35bn, a return of eight times on our capital.

I am also delighted to welcome New Scientist to our market-leading Consumer Media division. It is a high-quality, subscriptions-led business with great people and will further improve the quality of our revenues.

From a financial and operational perspective, DMGT delivered a solid performance in the first half of the year. We achieved strong underlying growth in revenue and profits from our B2B Information Services businesses, where Property Information was a highlight. Within Consumer Media, there was good revenue and profit growth from MailOnline and a solid performance from the Mail print titles driving profit growth for the Mail businesses whilst, unsurprisingly, Metro and our Events business continued to be impacted by the pandemic.

Five years into my tenure as CEO, I am incredibly proud of the hard work, creativity and commitment everyone at DMGT has demonstrated and what has been achieved as a result. I am excited and confident about our future as we continue to invest in our market-leading businesses and remain well placed to consider acquisitions to drive growth and create long-term value for shareholders.”

Read the full report here.

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