Strong pre-tax profit rises of 29% in the first half of 2004 augur well for the Daily Mail and General Trust's planned bid for the much coveted Telegraph Group. DMGT's strong performance this year compares with a mere 9% increase over the same period last year.

The Associated Newspapers division has also performed favourably, with profits increasing by £14.4m ($26.5m; €21.6m) to £50.2m.

Increased ad revenues helped to boost success – the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday ad revenues rose by 3.7%; those at the London Evening Standard climbed by 11%; whilst ad revenues at freesheet Metro soared to 26%, in part due to the launch this week of a new Bristol/Bath edition.

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