Trinity Mirror doubles structural cost savings target to £20m citing 'more challenging revenue environment'

Trinity Mirror has increased its cost savings target for the year from £10m, set in March, to £20m.

In a statement this morning, the publisher said that its revenue is expected to fall by 11 per cent year on year, 9 per cent on an underlying basis, in the half-year to 28 June.

The company said that publishing revenue is expected to fall by 9 per cent, with print declining by 11 per cent and digital growing by 26 per cent.

Trinity Mirror said in the statement that its average monthly unique users and page views have grown by more than 50 per cent year on year and that this has meant digital display revenue is up by more than 40 per cent. It said: “Mobile continues to be an increasingly important component of digital revenue growth and we are enhancing our products and advertising formats to take advantage of the ongoing opportunity in this area.”

But it said that print revenue, “adversely impacted by more challenging print advertising markets”, is expected to fall by 19 per cent in the period, or 17 per cent on an underlying basis.

Circulation revenue, meanwhile, is expected to fall by 6 per cent, an relative improvement helped by the increasing cover price rise of the Daily Mirror.

Trinity Mirror said: “The business continues to deliver strong cash flows and paid a dividend of £7.5 million in June 2015, the first dividend payment since 2008.”

It said: “The revenue environment has remained challenging throughout the first half, continuing the trends experienced at the end of 2014. Whilst monthly revenue trends are expected to be impacted by further volatility for the rest of the year, at this stage, the Board continues to expect profits for the year to be in line with expectations…

“In light of the more challenging revenue environment the Group has reviewed its current cost reduction programme and is now targeting structural cost savings of £20 million for the year, an increase on the £10 million target announced in March 2015. This coupled with ongoing cost mitigation actions and continued investment to drive digital audience and revenue will help underpin profits.

"The increased targeted cost savings will result in restructuring costs increasing by some £5 million to £15 million.”

The company also used the statement to restate that it is seeking permission to appeal the £1.2m it has been ordered to pay phone-hacking victims in the High Court. After this ruling, Trinity Mirror increased its its cost estimate for dealing with phone-hacking from £12m to £28m.

Trinity Mirror has closed 18 newspapers since November 2014 and launched one.

Asked by Press Gazette last month, before the £1.2m hacking compensation order, whether more closures could follow, chief executive Simon Fox said: "There are no immediate plans to close any further titles. But that doesn’t mean we never will.”

Also last month, 27 jobs were lost on the Mirror's national operation. This included all 14 staff working across the Mirror's Buzzfeed-style websites, Ampp3d, UsvsTh3m and Row Zed.

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