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Daily Mail & General H1 Adj. Pretax Profit Down 4%; Underlying Revenue Up 1%

Daily Mail & General Trust PLC (DMGT.L) reported statutory profit before tax of 127 million pounds for the six months ended 31 March 2015, an increase from 81.6 million pounds prior year, including the benefit of gains on disposals. Profit to owners of the company was 146.9 million pounds compared to 80.7 million pounds. Earnings per share from continuing operations was 25.9 pence compared to 13.3 pence.

Adjusted profit before tax decreased to 146 million pounds from 151 million pounds. The Group said this decrease reflected the reduction in operating profit and a decrease in income from joint ventures and associates following the IPO of Zoopla Property Group in June 2014. Adjusted earnings per share was 30.7 pence compared to 28.9 pence.

Group revenue from continuing operations was 922 million pounds, compared to 931 million pounds for the prior half year, representing an underlying increase of 1%. Following the disposal of the Evenbase digital recruitment businesses during 2014 and the non-occurrence of the Gastech event in the current year, revenues declined by 1% on a reported basis.

The Group said its first-half performance has been in line with expectations, with RMS's profits being adversely impacted by the ongoing investment in RMS(one) and the performance of dmg events being likewise affected by the timing of events.

Daily Mail & General said its Group outlook for the full year, as provided in November 2014, remains unchanged other than, due to the strengthening US dollar, dmg events' reported revenues are expected to decline by around 5% rather than the 10% previously guided to. The Group said its outlook for the full year remains in line with market expectations, with earnings per share ahead of market expectations due to a reduced tax charge.

The Board has declared an interim dividend of 6.5 pence per Ordinary and 'A' Ordinary Non-Voting share which will be paid on 3 July 2015 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 5 June 2015.

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