The lack of people traveling on public transport during the lockdown led to a drop in profits for the owners of the Daily Mail.

Half-year profits almost halved as the effects of the pandemic hit sales of its events arm and the Metro newspaper.

The newspaper is a free newspaper for commuters, heavily reliant on advertising, and has therefore been particularly affected by the Covid 19 crisis.

Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) saw statutory pre-tax profits from continuing operations fall to £ 42million in the six months ending March 31, from £ 77million the year before.

Revenue from its events business, the most affected by blockages, fell 95% and mainstream media sales fell 10%.

There was, however, a “solid” performance through MailOnline and its Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday titles.

Metro revenues were down 72% over the half-year, while they were down 5% for the Mail activities. MailOnline, meanwhile, grew by 9%.

DMGT is forecasting two major “physical” events in September, but expects trading in the division to remain “very difficult”.

Paul Zwillenberg, Managing Director of DMGT, said: “From a financial and operational perspective, DMGT delivered a strong performance in the first half of the year.

“Within the mainstream media, MailOnline saw good revenue and earnings growth and a strong performance in print mail titles, driving profit growth for the mail business while, unsurprisingly, Metro and our events business continued to be affected by the pandemic. “