Overall circulation revenue from its national newspapers was up 10 per cent in the 17 weeks to 30 October, with the latest ABC figures showing the Sunday Mirror sales up 63.9 per cent year on year to 1,845,683 and The People up 57.6 per cent to 839,182.
Trinity’s dailies were also said to be ‘ahead of market trends”. While ad revenue on the nationals was down 10 per cent Trinity said that it continued to maintain market share and that other revenue was up 10 per cent, thanks largely to an increase in contract print income.
Trinity reported a 3 per cent fall in circulation revenue for its local press titles, and ad income in this division was down 7 per cent. Digital revenue on the regionals grew 3 per cent with advertising up 2 per cent and other revenue up 10 per cent.
Group turnover remained flat with an 8 per cent drop in ad revenue offset by a 7 per cent rise in circulation.
In an interim management statement the company said: ‘While the underlying trading environment remains challenging, Trinity Mirror has delivered revenues in line with the same period in 2010, having seen a significant improvement in the circulation volumes and revenue performance for our Sunday titles following the closure of the News of the World on 10 July 2011.
‘In addition, we have seen an improvement in the rate of decline in advertising revenues compared to the first half and continue to achieve growth in other revenues.
‘Advertising markets are expected to remain challenging, showing year on year declines and month on month volatility for the remainder of 2011 and into 2012.
‘However, for the rest of this year we anticipate continued year on year growth in circulation and other revenues.
‘We are making good progress with our investment programme to drive revenues and re-engineer business processes. ThegGroup remains on track to deliver the structural cost savings target of £25 million for 2011.
‘Whilst we expect the trading environment to remain difficult, the board anticipates that the benefit of management initiatives will continue to help offset the effects of the challenging environment.
‘The board expects increased circulation volumes and revenues of our Sunday titles will help deliver performance marginally ahead of the top end of the current range of market expectations in 2011.”
Net debt has been reduced by £20m since 3 July to £242m.