Daily Mail & General Trust increases its full year dividend by 6%

DividendMax Ltd.

Daily Mail & General Trust increases its full year dividend by 6%

Preliminary Full Year Financial Highlights:

DMGT underlying revenue up 5%; reported revenue up 3%

Underlying operating profit up 15%; margin of 17%

Adjusted profit before tax a record £291m, up 9%

Good performance from B2B; underlying revenue and profit up 8%; decision to delay RMS(one), consequent £45 million impairment charge in the year and revenue and profit impact in FY 2015 as highlighted in September

dmg media underlying revenue in line with last year; underlying profit up 28%, margin up from 10% to 12%, driven by cost efficiencies 

Active portfolio management throughout the year, including  Zoopla Property Group IPO, Evenbase disposal and DIIG(E) acquisition

£100 million initial share buy back programme completed; new £100 million programme under way

Net debt increased by £30 million to £603 million; net debt/EBITDA ratio of 1.5; £106 million bond buy back

Earnings per share up 12% to 55.7p; full year dividend increased by 6% to 20.4p

Martin Morgan, Chief Executive, said:

"DMGT has again delivered a good set of results, reflecting the benefits of our balanced and diversified portfolio of businesses. It is pleasing that adjusted profit before tax has increased by 9%, to a record level, and earnings per share by 12% despite the adverse impact of the stronger pound during the year. This growth was generated by the strength of our B2B companies and, within dmg media, the resilience of the Mail businesses, the benefits of cost saving initiatives and effective portfolio management. 

Our international B2B companies have increased their underlying revenues and profits by 8%. We took a difficult decision in the year to delay the launch of RMS(one), although we are confident that the new programme of staged releases to a small number of clients during 2015, with availability to a broader client base towards the end of the year, will benefit the business in the long-term. Following the delay, there was an impairment of the RMS(one) asset value in the year. In addition, the increase in RMS's costs, ahead of RMS(one) revenues being generated in 2016, will adversely impact DMGT's profits in 2015.

Our consumer business, dmg media, yet again demonstrated its resilience with the growth from digital revenues offsetting the decline in print revenues. dmg media delivered a 28% underlying increase in operating profit as a result of the rationalisation of printing sites last year, ongoing cost saving measures and Wowcher moving towards profitability.

We have continued to refine and optimise our portfolio of businesses with further strategic bolt-on acquisitions, primarily within dmg information and Euromoney. We have also made some disposals, notably dmg media's digital recruitment business Evenbase, and the IPO of Zoopla Property Group. 

As reported in September, RMS's operating margin is expected to be around 10% to 15% in FY 2015, reflecting the delay of, and continued investment in, RMS(one). The timing of events and disposal of Evenbase will also have an adverse impact on FY 2015 results. The Board remains confident, however, that the Group is well positioned to deliver its excellent long-term growth prospects."

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