'Good progress' for Trinity despite continued print revenue decline

By Max Goldbart, Friday 16 December 2016

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Trinity Mirror has said that it expects print advertising revenue for Q4 to be down 17% on last year’s figure.

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The board is confident amid declining print revenues that the year's performance will be ahead of expectations

In a trading update released today (16 December), the group also said it expected a 10% fall in print revenue for the quarter year-on-year, and an 8% fall in publishing revenue.

Group revenue will be down by around 8% for the quarter year-on-year, a slight improvement on Q3's 9% decline. Print circulation revenue is expected to fall by 5%.

Digital revenue, however, is likely to increase by 8%.

Mirror Online editorial director Pete Picton said: “November has been a record month for the Mirror Online and Trinity Mirror’s wider national digital portfolio. To cross the 100 million unique browsers mark is a fantastic milestone which drives home our position as the go-to source for breaking news.”

Trinity's share price rose by 3.75p or 4.17%, to 87.5p on the announcement.

The update stated that Trinity was continuing to make good progress and that the board was confident that performance for the year will be marginally ahead of expectations, with net debt falling to around £35m by the end of the year.

In last year’s annual results, the group recorded significant declines in print revenues and profits. It hoped that the launch of Britain’s first daily national newspaper, The New Day, would help with print revenues, but it ceased publication just nine weeks after it first hit the newsstands

The group has also acquired 2.5 million shares for £2.3m under the £10m repurchase programme announced in August.

In terms of settling civil claims arising from phone hacking, 80% of claims have now been settled but the group announced an increased provision for dealing with these historic cases of £11.5m. Provision remaining at the end of this year will be around £22m. Last year, it spent £29m on dealing with these civil claims.

Last month, Trinity announced it had entered into consultation over the closure of its Cardiff print site, just a year after it closed its Newcastle site, putting 33 jobs at risk. A spokesman confirmed that the consultation is still ongoing. 

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