Business briefs: Daily Mail | Rolls-Royce | Vertu

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Daily Mail and General Trust, publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper, said advertising sales growth at its MailOnline website helped lift underlying sales in its third quarter.

The group, which also publishes the Mail on Sunday and Metro papers, said advertising revenues at its newspaper companion websites increased 41 per cent, while newspaper advertising revenues fell 7 per cent in the period.

Daily Mail and General’s underlying third-quarter revenue rose 3 per cent to £448 million. The company said its outlook for the year was unchanged.

• Rolls-Royce is to focus on cutting “unacceptable” levels of costs after the firm’s first-half profits rose by more than a third, helped by booming demand for aircraft engines.

Rolls, the world’s second-largest maker of aeroplane engines behind US group General Electric, lags its major competitors in terms of managing costs and needs to narrow that gap, chief executive John Rishton said.

“While underlying profits were up 34 per cent our costs are rising faster than revenues, which is not good enough and needs to change,” said Rishton.

• Motor dealer Vertu, which trades as Macklin Motors in Scotland, is eyeing further growth in the car market after strong demand from private buyers drove its sales higher.

The firm said like-for-like retail volumes of new cars rose 18.6 per cent during the four months to the end of June, ahead of growth of 16.6 per cent in the overall market.

Used car sales were up 4.7 per cent on a year ago and chairman Paul Williams said: “The outlook for the new car market remains favourable with continued growth anticipated in the private market.”

• Sales of Airfix model planes have received a boost from this year’s 70th anniversary of the Dambusters bombing raid, toy maker Hornby said yesterday.

The company, best known for its train sets, also owns the Corgi and Scalextric brands and said it had taken a £200,000 hit from the failure of toy store chain ModelZone, which went into administration last month.

Chairman Roger Canham said: “We expect to be able to replace the majority of sales within the rest of our network of independent model shops, national retail chains and our own online platform.”