Shares in Daily Mail and General Trust were down on the FTSE 250 in morning trading after the publisher reported a rise in revenue and pre-tax profit in the half year ended 3 April, but said it had a cautious outlook.

Before exceptional items the group reported a rise in revenue of three per cent to £991 million, while pre-tax profit increased 20 per cent to £121 million.

The group added that it would be raising its dividend from 5.0 pence per share to 5.3 pence per share.

Net debt during the period fell by £13 million to £849 million.

While the group said its business to business arm had performed well, increasing its profits by 10 per cent, its regional newspaper arm saw revenue fall nine per cent and national newspaper revenue dropped three per cent thanks to weaker advertising.

Martin Morgan, Chief Executive of Daily Mail and General Trust, said, "DMGT has enjoyed a resilient first half. Trading was satisfactory overall, reflecting the benefits of DMGT's diversified international portfolio of market-leading businesses in both B2B and consumer markets, together with our focus on efficiencies.

"Overall, our business-to-business companies have continued their momentum, delivering strong revenue growth. Our UK consumer businesses have increased operating margin* mainly through operating efficiencies and both the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday have again improved their market share of circulation."

"Despite continuing momentum within our B2B operations, we remain cautious about the outlook for the full year due to the volatile and uncertain market conditions faced by our UK consumer businesses, where advertising revenues for April and the first three weeks of May have been below last year.

"We are therefore remaining focused on driving sustainable organic growth through new product development and investments, while continuing to seek operational efficiency and to reduce debt. Overall, we still expect to achieve growth for the full financial year compared to last year."

By 11:35 shares in Daily Mail & General Trust were down 5.20 per cent on the FTSE 250 to 459.60 pence per share.