Trinity Mirror anticipates continued print revenue decline

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Friday 15 December 2017

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Trinity Mirror has said it is expecting declines in print advertising and circulation revenue in Q4 2017, but has reported that it is making "good progress" with its acquisition of Northern & Shell's publishing assets.


Trinity Mirror expects its performance for the year to be in line with expectations

The newspaper group said it is expecting declines in print advertising and circulation revenue of 21% and 7% respectively in Q4.

In a trading update released today (15 December), the company also noted that it expects group revenue to fall by 9% on a like-for-like basis in the period.

The firm added, however, that it is experiencing improving trends in publishing digital display and transactional revenues, which are expected to grow by 20% in the final quarter.

But the group's classified publishing digital revenue, which is substantially jointly sold with print, remains under pressure, reducing its expected publishing digital revenue growth for the quarter to 10%.

The board said it expects the firm's performance for the year to be in line with expectations.

“We continue to make progress against our strategic initiatives whilst supporting profits and delivering strong cashflows which will contribute to a further fall in net debt,” the update said.

The business said it "continues to make good progress" with its proposed acquisition of 100% of the publishing assets of Northern & Shell and will provide further updates on this in due course.

Last month the group completed the £10m share repurchase programme it announced in August 2016. It acquired a total of 10 million shares.

The business said the 31 December 2016 triennial pension funding valuations have also progressed well during the year and it expects these to be finalised ahead of the statutory deadline of 31 March 2018.

It has agreed with the trustees that annual contributions to the three pension schemes will increase by £8m to £44m per annum for a period of 10 years commencing 2018.

The group said the increase in annual contributions reflects the increase in deficits since the last valuation, which has been largely driven by the fall in long term interest rates.

Trinity Mirror's share price rose by 3.25p to 73.75p in early trading and has since settled down to 72.75p at the time of writing. The group's full-year results will be published on 26 February 2018.

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