Trinity Mirror reports 11 per cent slump in group revenue

  • Revenue from national titles down 12 per cent to £135m
  • Regionals down 9 per cent drop in revenue to £89m
  • Underlying digital revenue falls 1 per cent to £14
  • Pensions deficit up by £73m

Daily Mirror publisher Trinity Mirror today announced an 11 per cent year-on-year fall in group revenues.

Interim figures for the 17 weeks to 28 October show total revenue dropped to £223m during the period, with circulation revenue down 16 per cent to £95m and advertising income down 12 per cent to £94m.

The company expects operating profit in the 2012 financial year to be broadly in line with the 2011 figure of £104.5m.

Net debt was cut by £19m, giving a total reduction of £59m for the year to date to £162m.

The nationals division – including the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People – saw revenue fall 12 per cent to £135m during the period, with advertising down 9 per cent and circulation down 18 per cent.

The regionals divisions – which includes the Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News – saw a 9 per cent drop in revenue to £89m, with advertising down 13 per cent and circulation down 6 per cent.

Digital income grew 8 per cent to £14m – but excluding the acquisition of email and mobile communications company Communicator Corp in January, digital revenue fell by 1 per cent.

A 13 per cent growth in display advertising was offset by a 17 per cent drop in classified advertising, with recruitment particularly hard hit.

The dip in digital figures comes after Trinity Mirror’s new chief executive Simon Fox spoke of his astonishment at the state of the company’s digital operations, admitting the company had “neglected the digital development of our core brands”.

Elsewhere, the company’s pension deficit increased by £73m from the half year stage to £283m at the end of September 2012.

“This reflects an increase in liabilities of £131 million partially offset by an increase in asset values of £58 million,” said Trinity.

Restructuring costs, meanwhile, are now expected to be around £10m – £5m less than previous estimates.

Last month the company confirmed its involvement in a joint venture which in talks to take over regional newspaper rival Northcliffe Media.

Commenting on the talks today, Trinity said: “Subsequent to the announcement of 29 October 2012 on discussions towards taking a minority interest in a new company comprising the assets of Northcliffe Media and Iliffe News & Media, no offer has been made and there remains nothing further to report at this stage.”

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