Sun Sunday hits revenues on Trinity's nationals

  • Nationals’ revenue down 5 per cent after The Sun Sunday launch
  • Digital up 24 per cent after MirrorOnline relaunch
  • Regional revenue down 7 per cent

The impact of News International‘s The Sun Sunday on revenues at rival Trinity Mirror‘s national titles was revealed this morning.

According to interim results, revenue rose 3 per cent in January and February but dropped 5 per cent in March and April after The Sun Sunday hit the newsstands on 26 February.

Total turnover on the nationals in the 17 weeks to 29 April fell by 1 per cent. Circulation revenue grew by 3 per cent after an increase of 10 per cent in January and February and a decline of 3 per cent in March and April.

Advertising revenue fell 10 per cent and other revenue rose by 4 per cent, which Trinity the said was the result of its contract print work. Digital revenue grew by 24 per cent. Trinity said this reflected the ‘relaunch of MirrorOnline and a more stable performance for bingo revenues”.

On the regionals revenue fell by 7 per cent in the four-month period. Advertising was down 12 per cent, display fell by 11 per cent, and classified by 13 per cent. Circulation revenue fell by 4 per cent ‘with minimal cover price increases partially mitigating volume declines”.

Digital revenues grew by 7 per cent for the period including the acquisition of email and mobile communications Communicator Corp.

Trinity expects revenues in May will fall by 5 per cent, with advertising down 10 per cent and circulation down 4 per cent, but digital revenue are expected to rise.

In a statement the company said: ‘We remain on track with the transformation of our publishing capabilities to support the development of a multi-platform media business to be completed by the end of 2013. We are also making good progress with the digital investments announced at our preliminary results.’

It added: ‘Strong cash flows enabled net debt reduction of £24 million to £197 million during the period and we anticipate a further decline in net debt for the remainder of the year.

‘We anticipate repaying the £70 million of US Private Placement loan notes maturing in June 2012 through a combination of cash balances held at the period end, further cash generated during May and June and a drawing on the Group’s existing bank facility.

‘The trading environment is expected to remain challenging for the remainder of the year with month on month volatility in revenue trends. Nevertheless, the benefit of focused management of the business coupled with delivery of at least £15 million of structural cost savings will support profitability during 2012.

The company’s pension deficit was slashed from £230m at the end of 2011 to £176m at the end of March.

The NUJ will today urge shareholders at Trinity Mirror’s annual general meeting for Sly Bailey to leave Trinity Mirror immediately and slash ‘monstrous board-room payouts”.

It will also urge incoming chair David Grigson to scrap Bailey’s £15m cost-cutting plans.

Bailey is set to leave Trinity Mirror at the end of the year once she has worked her notice period.

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