The Daily Mail’s reporting in the lead up to the EU referendum erred in the pro-Leave direction, and one day before the vote the newspaper confirmed its support for a Brexit.
Daily Mail Group Trust (DMGT) - which prints the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and Metro, among others - released its preliminary financial results for the year ending September 30 and Brexit isn’t looked upon so favourably.
Reservations about declining print sales as a result of UK’s weakening economy were articulated in the 1 December report.
The risks were specific to the UK's departure from the EU:
The European property businesses in DMGT information: [there may be] possible decline in residential and commercial property transactions versus pre-UK referendum volumes.
DMGT Media: a weakening of the UK economy, particularly if consumer led, could accelerate the decline in print advertising revenue.
The report noted:
In recognition of the results of the recent referendum on the UK membership of the European Union and wider macroeconomic volatility, a new principal risk, 'Economic and geopolitical uncertainty', has been added and the potential impact on DMGT is outlined below. At this early stage, due to the diverse nature of our portfolio, we believe that the impacts will be manageable, however, we will continue to monitor these carefully as they develop and adapt accordingly.
Paul Zwillenberg, Chief Executive, said:
DMGT's results reflect the ongoing resilience of the portfolio through varying market conditions. The Group has many strengths. It is a diversified portfolio of businesses that operate in high-potential markets with market-leading content and proprietary data.
Zwillenberg was coy when asked about whether any of the DMGT newspaper titles would be sold, and said there were “no sacred cows”.
If someone values our business greater than we value it ourselves, then we will consider that.