World News

UK’s Daily Mirror, Mail predict coronavirus financial hit

(Reuters) – The publishers of Britain’s Daily Mail and Daily Mirror newspapers both flagged expected financial hits from the coronavirus crisis on Thursday, saying advertising and other revenue would be weakened.

Daily Mail and General Trust <DMGOa.L> suspended its full-year outlook as it pointed to likely damage to its events business and said 2020 performance would be worse than its existing forecasts.

Daily Mirror-owner Reach <RCH.L> expects the pandemic to hurt its advertising, print circulation and events businesses because of lower traffic, adding that outlet closures and event delays or cancellations may be necessary. It also said it expects advertising revenue deferrals.

The media company said it would only seek to give an outlook for the year in May. Unlike several other British companies, Reach said there was currently no change to its full-year dividend.

The owner of news website MailOnline said its events and exhibitions business, which accounted for 8% of the company’s revenue last year, will be particularly hit if more exhibitions are postponed or canceled. But the hit to profit is expected to be partially offset by insurance coverage.

The FT reported this week that fellow publisher JPI Media is to temporarily stop printing a dozen of its newspaper titles as local and regional news groups suffer the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak, with a sharp decrease in advertising spending forcing them to make drastic cuts.

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham, Bernard Orr)