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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 18:14 GMT
Daily Mail lifted by profit rise
Man reading Daily Mail newspaper
Daily Mail is considering selling its regional newspaper business
Shares in Daily Mail & General Trust have leapt by 11% after the newspaper publisher reported a jump in profits.

The firm, which owns the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, said its pre-tax profit for the year to 2 October was 162.9m ($282m), up 31% on the previous year.

Separately, Daily Mail said it was considering the sale of its regional newspaper business Northcliffe.

Regional papers have seen advertising revenues fall because of the growth of the internet and advertising websites.

Profits at Northcliffe, whose titles include the Nottingham Evening Post, were up 1.5%. Revenues at the division were 520m, unchanged from a year earlier.

The publisher said it saw no signs of recovery in the UK's tough regional newspaper advertising markets.

Regional review

Overall annual group turnover at Daily Mail & General Trust increased by 1% to 2.14bn from 2.11bn.

The firm said the improvement in group profit was mainly driven by strong growth from its business and finance publishing subsidiaries, DMG Information and Euromoney.

Daily Mail & General Trust said a sale of Northcliffe could come following a review of the division, and that any disposal would see a substantial proportion of proceeds returned to shareholders.

"We'll only make a decision when we see what people are willing to pay for it ... It's going to take a while," said Daily Mail & General Trust finance director Peter Williams.

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