Reach "on clear pathway to growth"

Jo Francis
Thursday, July 29, 2021

Media group Reach has reported a recovery in print circulations in its half-year results.

Mullen: Reach is transforming its prospects
Mullen: Reach is transforming its prospects

The firm said that the recovery “demonstrates resilience and provides sustainable cash flows”. 

“Having declined by 11.3% in the first quarter of this year, circulation revenue has recovered during Q2, ending the half down just 5.1%,” it stated. 

“This relative resilience demonstrates the strength of our national and regional brands which continue to set the agenda as champions, campaigners and changemakers in their communities.”

Although print advertising decreased 4.3% year-on-year, it grew by 20.8% in Q2 thanks to lockdown easing. 

Reach said it had seen “encouraging growth” in print activity from big-name digital platforms such as Good and eBay “demonstrating the ongoing power of print in awareness building campaigns”.

At Reach’s Printing division, sales were down 18.6% at £9.6m “driven by continued pressure on contract print volumes” and the closure of its print plants in Luton and Birmingham at the end of 2020.

Overall trading in the 26 weeks to 27 June was ahead of market expectations. Sales were up 4% at £302.3m, with like-for-like sales up 2.6%. Operating profits jumped 25.5% to £68.9m. 

Reach said that the “sustained momentum” of its Customer Value Strategy was supporting growth of digital revenues, which were up 42.7% at £68.8m and now make up 23% of sales. 

CEO Jim Mullen said the business was "transforming its prospects" and now had “a clear pathway to sustainable growth”.

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