Print revenue down at Reach

Reach has reported Q3 circulation and publishing print advertising revenue declines of 4% and 20% respectively in its latest trading update, but said it remains on track to deliver cost synergies of at least £20m a year by 2020.

In the statement released this morning (8 October) the publisher said its group revenue in the third quarter grew by 21%, reflecting its near-£200m acquisition of Northern & Shell’s publishing assets in February.

The group said "good progress has been made" on the integration of the assets, with a number of initiatives already in progress, and it remains on track to deliver integration savings of £2m in 2018.

Despite its print revenue declines, the group’s publishing digital revenue grew by 7% in the period, with display and transactional revenue increasing by 12%.

On a like-for-like basis, which includes the Northern & Shell assets as if they had been owned from the beginning of 2017, Reach’s overall group revenue fell by 7% in the period.

On 25 September the group sold its email marketing business The Communicator Corporation for £7.6m. It received £6.8m in cash on completion of the deal and the remaining £800,000 will be payable in March 2020.

Chief executive Simon Fox said: “I am pleased with the progress being made on the integration of [Northern & Shell’s publishing assets] and remain confident that we will deliver at least £20 million of annual synergy savings by 2020.

“Our continued focus on tightly managing costs and driving digital revenue continues to provide confidence that performance for the year will be in line with market expectations.”

Reach’s manufacturing arm Reach Printing Services has recently signed a contract to print a number of the Metro titles being published directly by DMG Media.

Shares in Reach, which has recently rebranded from Trinity Mirror, and recorded a £113.5m half-year statutory pre-tax loss in the first six months of 2018, dropped by 3.3% to 63.6p in early trading but had since recovered to 65.3p at the time of writing.

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