Trinity Mirror says national ad revenue decline is slowing

Trinity Mirror has said the rate of advertising revenue decline at its national newspaper division is beginning to slow down.

In a trading update ahead of today’s annual general meeting, the publisher said it expected a 10 per cent year-on-year fall in national newspaper advertising revenue in May – an improvement on the 17 per cent decline seen in the first four months of this year.

“We expect the rate of decline to ease as we go through the remainder of the year as we benefit from weaker comparatives,” Trinity Mirror said today.

But it said advertising revenue decline in the regional newspaper division would stay around the 35 per cent mark this month – the same level as previous months.

Group revenue in the first four months of 2009 was down 18 per cent year on year, including a 30 per cent drop in advertising revenue and a 13 per cent decline in digital income.

In the regionals, display fell 24 per cent, recruitment was down by half and motors advertising was down 35 per cent.

Trinity Mirror said circulation revenue remained more “resilient” – down just four per cent as a result of increased cover prices on its national newspaper titles.

The publisher said it remained cautious about the future and its £25m cost-savings plan was on track.

It said debt levels would fall slightly this year and confirmed that the company remained “comfortably” within the financial covenants it has with its lenders.

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