Trinity Mirror is to change its name to Reach following its takeover of Express Newspapers last month, as the company reports a £90m (13 per cent) fall in group revenue to £632m last year.
The group blamed a “weak print trading environment” for the drop, claiming revenue was down 9 per cent on a like-for-like basis. Profit before tax also fell by £11m year-on-year to £122.5m.
But, the company saw digital publishing revenue grow by 7 per cent to £84m overall, with display and “transactional” revenue up 18 per cent to £70m against a drop of fully one quarter in digital classified revenue.
Group adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation were down 9 per cent to £145m for 2017.
Trinity Mirror said it delivered “structural cost savings” of £20m in 2017, £5m ahead of its initial £15m target, and that in 2018 it was targeting a further £15m in cost savings.
Trinity Mirror chief executive Simon Fox said: “We once again delivered a strong financial performance in what remains a difficult trading environment for the industry.
“I am pleased with the acquisition of the publishing assets of Northern and Shell in line with our strategic focus on consolidation and I believe this presents significant opportunities to realise real value.
“Having made good progress with our strategy in 2017 we will build on this in the year ahead.”
Trinity Mirror said print “remained challenging” as display and other advertising revenue fell by 15 per cent, while income from classified advertising was down by 23.5 per cent.
Print circulation revenue was down by 6.5 per cent, although cover price hikes have helped reduce the impact of falling sales numbers, according to the report, while overall print revenue fell 15 per cent to £495m.
The company said “protecting print brands” remained a “key area of strategic focus”.
Subject to shareholder approval at its next annual general meeting, Trinity Mirror will rebrand as Reach.
The company, whose current name is a result of the merger of Trinity and Mirror Group in 1999, said that since having acquired Northern and Shell’s Express Newspapers and regional publisher Local World “the name no longer accurately reflects the company”.
Fox said: “Through our content we reach millions of people every day. Our reach extends across multiple platforms in both print and digital and across the cities and communities that we serve.
“We think this is a name which better reflects what we do and what our ambitions are.”
Picture: Trinity Mirror