LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) - The owner of the Daily Mail newspaper said the rate of decline in print advertising had eased slightly in the first half of the year while online ad sales surged, helping the group to reiterate its 12-month targets.
Daily Mail and General Trust said print advertising fell by 8 percent in the six months to end March, easing from the 12 percent fall recorded in 2016. The MailOnline business, which includes the advertising posted around the hugely popular website, recorded a 19 percent underlying revenue rise.
Overall the group reported a 1 percent underlying rise in revenue to 890 million pounds ($1.2 billion), while operating profit fell 11 percent to 100 million pounds due to pressures in the information business and planned investment costs.
For the full year, the group said its outlook was largely unchanged although its information division was now expected to produce a full-year underlying revenue growth rate in the low-single digits, compared with a previous forecast of mid-single digit growth.
The information division owns media businesses that serve the property, education and energy sectors.
$1 = 0.7701 pounds Reporting by Kate Holton. Editing by Jane Merriman