Trinity Mirror has recorded a huge leap in growth with adjusted operating profit up by 44 per cent to £69m thanks to its acquisition of Local World last year, new figures out today show.
The Mirror titles publisher, which acquired Local World in a £220m deal, also saw overall revenue rise by 30 per cent to £374m, according to the half-yearly financial report covering the 27 weeks to 3 July.
However, on a like-for-like basis, had Trinity Mirror owned Local World for the entirety of 2015 (it was acquired in October) revenue would have fallen by 7.8 per cent.
It would have also recorded a 10 per cent decline in print revenue, offset by digital revenue growth of 14 per cent to £39.7m.
The group’s pension deficit has more than doubled from £120m to £426m, said to be driven by a fall in long term interest rates.
Trinity Mirror chief executive Simon Fox said: “I am pleased we delivered another strong performance despite the challenging print environment.
“We are already seeing the benefits from our acquisition of Local World last year and continue to tightly manage the cost base across the Group.
“Our strategic focus remains to grow digital audience and revenue whilst protecting print revenue and profit.
“We are confident that our strategy and our strong balance sheet position will enable continued progress despite increased uncertainty around the economic environment.”
The report outlined Trinity Mirror’s strategic focus as “growing digital audience and revenue whilst protecting print revenue and profit”.
Ongoing cuts to regional newsrooms formerly owned by Local World have seen a number of journalists, including newspaper editors, made redundant and websites merge. A handful of new digital roles have also been created.
The cuts have been described as a “merry-go-round of misery” by the National Union of Journalists.
Trinity Mirror suffered a blow when it was forced to close daily national title The New Day within two months of it launching.