Newspaper and publisher house Daily Mail and General Trust has revealed increased revenue and operating profits as it sets its sights on a global news operating model. Revenue increased by five per cent, as did the operating profit, despite challenges to its local newspaper division, it said in its results for the first half year, ending March 31, 2008.

Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) said the healthy numbers were due to growth from its business-to-business and the continued strength of Associated Newspapers, which publishes the tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail. The Mail though did see a slight drop in sales.

In a statement the company said it was following a strategy of product development investment, both in print titles and online advertising systems.

“Most of our businesses have performed well despite the conditions in the global financial and property markets,” said The Viscount Rothermere, chairman of DMGT. “We continue to believe that our strategy of creating a diversified portfolio across both business and consumer media products leaves us well positioned to deliver long-term growth.”

In the House of Lords yesterday Rothermere said the future vision for his media empire is global, and announced a tie-in with the Washington Post to sell online advertising. Rothermere claims the Mail is in the top 10 most viewed newspaper websites in the US.

DMGT, a significant user of the British search technology from Autonomy, has completed a 12-month investment into companion websites, which is said delivered a “substantial increase in traffic and a revenue increase to £4.5 million. Associated Northcliffe Digital, the organisation’s web based marketplace business includes Jobsite, FindaProperty and Primelocation. The group saw revenues rise by 12 per cent to £46 million, although operating profit fell by £3.6 million.

“DMGT continues to focus its digital strategy on driving profitable growth from sustainable business models and optimising its portfolio of assets,” it said in its results. In April Computer Associates was selected by the Associated Newspapers division to provide business service management (BSM) software. As part of the integration of the BSM software Association Newspapers will adopt ITIL methodology for 700 different business services.

Associated Newspapers publishes the Metro and London Lite free newspapers in London, as well as the Evening Standard and Mail tabloids.

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