Trinity Mirror printing revenue down 6% since interim results

Simon Nias
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Printing revenue at Trinity Mirror has fallen 6% in the 17 weeks to 26 October, according to the publisher's latest interim management statement, compared with a 3% increase in the first six months of the year.

Fox: I continue to believe that the business has significant long term potential
Fox: I continue to believe that the business has significant long term potential

The publisher blamed a fall in newsprint volumes together with lower newsprint prices for the decline in its contract print revenue, which contributed to a 5% decline in group revenue for the period.

In publishing, while digital revenue continued to grow at a slightly lower trajectory of 44% (versus 48% in the first half) the decline in print revenue accelerated from 4% in the first half to 7% in the 17 weeks since Trinity's July interim results.

This was largely due to a 12% decline in print advertising revenue (H1 down 9%) driven by "weaker national display advertising, in particular supermarket spending".

Print circulation revenue fell by 3% for the period, offset "substantively" by cover price increases.

While group revenue is now down 4% for the year-to-date Trinity said that its cashflows remained strong. Together with a £13m from PA Group (owner of the Press Association) and a £3m dividend from Local World, this enabled the group to reduce net debt by £32m to £24m.

The group agreed a new four-year, £60m banking facility on 25 July, which remained undrawn during the period. Capex for the year is expected to be lower than the £15m guidance, while restructuring costs are expected to be marginally higher than the previous £12m guidance, although this will result in an increase in structural cost savings.

Trinity Mirror chief executive Simon Fox said: "I am pleased with the strategic progress we are making in building the scale and reach of our digital brands. At the end of September our group digital audience exceeded 90 million monthly unique users with continued strong growth in digital revenue.

"Despite the recent deterioration in national press advertising trends I remain confident that our strategic initiatives will ultimately deliver sustainable growth in revenues and profits."

Trinity Mirror's share price was down 2.6% at the time of writing at 151.9p.


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