UPDATE 1-Falling ad revenues to hit Daily Mail profits

Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:46am EDT

LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) - British newspaper group Daily Mail & General Trust said it expected profits in the first half of the year to be lower than in 2011, hit by falling national advertising revenues and higher newsprint and promotional costs.

Daily Mail said it would keep its full-year outlook unchanged but noted that it now expected both operating profits and profit before tax for the first half of the year to be lower than in 2011.

Profits were held back by the continuing slump in national and regional advertising revenues, with fast growth in online ads and higher circulation revenues failing to offset the slump in advertising for the newspapers.

Underlying ad revenue at Associated Newspapers was down 3 percent in the six months to the end of March, although trading in the month of March improved, with ad revenues up 1 percent.

Underlying ad revenue at Northcliffe Media was down 7 percent.

"On an adjusted basis, both operating profits and profit before tax for the first half of the year are expected to be lower than in 2011, although the outlook for the full year remains unchanged," the group said.

Daily Mail, which has the most popular website in the world, said it would report exceptional costs for the half year of around 40 million pounds, due to reorganisation costs and the accelerated depreciation of property, plants and equipment.

The group said it would however benefit from a strong performance at its part-owned Euromoney, where revenues for the six months are expected to be up 13 percent.