Trinity Mirror advertising revenues drop 20 per cent

Trinity Mirror has ramped up its cost-cutting exercise after reporting a 20 per cent year-on-year drop in advertising revenues in the four months to the end of October.

The publisher told the City this morning that it expected to have made £25m in cost savings by the end of this year, up from the initial target of £20m.

It said it had closed 28 newspapers since the beginning of the year, and was expecting to deliver at least another £20m in savings in 2009.

In its trading update, Trinity Mirror reported a 12.8 per cent fall in group revenue between July and the end of October on a year on year and like-for-like basis.

Advertising revenues fell 20.1 per cent, with a sharper fall in the regionals – 21.2 per cent – than the nationals, which fell 15.4 per cent in this period.

Echoing Johnston Press‘s trading update yesterday morning, Trinity Mirror said regional propoerty advertising was the worst-hit sector, down 42.6 per cent, with double-digit declines also for display, recruitment and motors.

The publisher said it expected conditions to remain “challenging” for 2009 and said it was staying “cautious”.

“In line with the worsening economy and the impact it has had on the advertising market, trading conditions have continued to deteriorate since the half year, with rates of decline accelerating in all advertising categories,” the company said.

“Digital revenues continue to grow, though at a slower rate. In addition, the reduction in consumer discretionary spend is having a marginal impact on circulation revenues [which were down five per cent].”

The growth of Trinity Mirror’s digital revenues slowed from 40.2 per cent year on year in the first half of 2008 to 15.5 per cent in the four-month period covering by today’s update.

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