Trinity Mirror cost savings see pre-tax profit increase despite fall in revenue

Trinity Mirror made cost savings of £28.5m in the first half of the financial year as the publishing group increased its pre-tax profit.

Total revenue fell by 8.5 per cent in the six months to the end of June, from £362.8m in 2012 to £332m, but the group produced an adjusted profit before tax of £49.3m, up from £48.1m at the same time last year.

Advertising revenue fell by £19m and circulation revenue fell by £9.6m, although the group said the year-on-year comparison was hit by the launch of The Sun Sunday last February, meaning last year's figures included two months where there was one fewer rival title to its Sunday brands, the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People.

The savings came through a fall in the price of newsprint and what the group has described as “cost mitigation”. Trinity Mirror’s statement to the stock market shows a £14m saving on newsprint, coupled with a £5.8m saving on labour costs.

The group added that it was “on track to deliver at least £10m of structural cost savings in 2013”.

The financial performance saw net debt fall by £36.7m to £120.3m, with the company saying it will be able to repay £54.5m of debt maturing in October.

The group’s continuing investment in digital content, which includes hiring 25 new editorial staff, has helped it increase its online reach. Average monthly unique users across its sites has grown by 36.9 per cent to 34.2m, while page views have risen by 48.6 per cent to 182.3m.

Trinity Mirror chief executive Simon Fox said: “I am pleased with the progress we have made in the first half. The Group is producing some outstanding journalism and in a challenging market is outperforming its peers on a number of measures in both print and online. Whilst still at an early stage, our transformation plan has got off to an encouraging start and this provides me with confidence in the performance for the year.”

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