Daily Mail & General Trust, one of Albion’s largest media groups and owner of leading national newspaper the Daily Mail and London’s Evening Standard, yesterday posted half-year profits marginally £800,000 down to £71.6 million.

The slippage was imaginatively blamed on a fall in ad revenues, triggered by the long-running foot and mouth epidemic which has hit Britain’s meat and dairy farming industry [although neither are big-spending advertisers]. The post-Olympic Games hangover was also named as joint culprit, affecting the group’s Australian operations.

DMGT warned of future difficulties caused by a continued downturn in the display advertising market and its Euromoney business magazine portfolio. “UK newspaper display advertising and business publishing are going through a difficult period,” said the group yesterday.

However, DMGT’s two flagship titles had out-performed their rivals: “With their strong circulations, [these] are well placed to take maximum advantage when trading conditions improve,” reported a statement.

Despite market conditions, a "satisfactory outcome to the current financial year", ending at the start of October, is expected.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)