Johnston Press and Trinity Mirror ink new print deals

By Jo Francis, Tuesday 08 August 2017

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Johnston Press and Trinity Mirror have reached agreement on new “mutually supportive” multi-year printing contracts.

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Trinity Mirror will continue to print the i under new deals

The existing print and distribution deal that sees Trinity Mirror produce Johnston’s national newspaper the i is being extended until 2020. The current arrangement expires at the end of this year.

PrintWeek flagged up the ongoing print contract negotiations alongside the Johnston Press interim results last week.  

It said the new agreement involved “operational benefits and improved commercial terms”. Further details were unavailable at the time of writing.

In addition, a three-year extension has been inked for the former Local World regional titles that are currently printed at the Johnston Press sites in Portsmouth and Sheffield. Trinity Mirror acquired 100% of joint venture Local World in November 2015.

And Trinity Mirror will continue to print the Scotsman and Scotsman on Sunday for Johnston Press at its Cardonald print plant in Glasgow – again with a three-year extension to the contract, until December 2020.

Both Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield and Trinity Mirror CEO Simon Fox said they were “delighted” with the fresh agreements.

Fox said he was particularly pleased that Trinity Mirror would continue to print the i, which it has printed since the newspaper’s launch in 2010.

The i had weekday print circulation of 272,337 in its latest ABC, and 264,536 on Saturdays. Highfield said Johnston Press was planning to further develop the Saturday edition.

He also pointed to the need for collaboration in the challenging newspaper publishing environment, and described the print deals as “mutually supportive”.

“It is important, in this current media climate, to look for ways to work together to stabilise and strengthen relationships in the UK newspaper market. We are therefore delighted to confirm that we will be working with Trinity Mirror for a further three years, in a mutually supportive printing arrangement.”

Trinity Mirror is the UK’s biggest national and regional publisher and posted group turnover of £713m in 2016, including contract printing revenues of £25.4m. It has five print sites at Watford, Birmingham, Teesside, Cardonald and Oldham.

Johnston Press had total sales of £222.7m last year, and has three print sites: Sheffield, Portsmouth and Portadown. Contract printing revenues were £12.8m. 

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