There are indications that the ad sector may be improving, according to British media group Daily Mail & General Trust, publisher of London’s Evening Standard and national titles Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.

Although the market for display advertising remains slow, DMGT said the year-on-year slide in February was 8%, far less than the 15%–16% drops in October and November last year, with a similar improvement expected in March. However, the recruitment advertising market is still a huge 40% below the figure twelve months ago.

“The group's businesses continue to perform well despite difficult trading conditions,” DMGT announced. “They are reaping the benefit of investment over a long period and generally proving to be robust in terms both of market position and profitability.”

Both the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday have enjoyed rising circulation recently, with figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations for the six months to February showing respective increases of 3.4% and 2.6%.

In addition, the group announced that regional newspaper unit Northcliffe Newspapers has posted rising ad revenues, and that its Metro freesheet should break even by year-end.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff