Trinity Mirror half-year financial report reveals £4m set aside for phone-hacking civil claims

Trinity Mirror has set aside £4m for the costs of dealing with alleged phone-hacking.

The publisher is facing 17 civil claims over phone-hacking and the company’s half-year financial report confirmed it is continuing to co-operate with the police’s operations Elveden, into payments to public officials, and Golding, into phone-hacking at Mirror titles.

The report said: “The Group is aware of a number of civil claims from individuals in relation to phone hacking.

“In the first half we have provided £4.0 million to cover the cost of dealing with and resolving claims.

“It remains uncertain as to how these matters will progress, whether further allegations or claims will be made, and their financial impact.”

In the first half of the year, Trinity Mirror’s revenue fell by 2.3 per cent year on year to £324.2m, although this improved through the months, with the decline falling to 1.4 per cent in May and June. Profit before tax, meanwhile, was £48.2m, down 2.2 per cent.

The statement noted that average monthly users across Trinity Mirror websites grew by 91 per cent to 61.3m year on year and average monthly page views grew by 132 per cent to 440.2m.

Revenues fell by 2.5 per cent to £281.6m in the publishing division, with print revenues falling 4.3 per cent year on year to £266.7m. Within this, advertising revenues were down 8.8 per cent to £108.3m and circulation revenues down 1.2 per cent to £142.5m. Digital revenue in the publishing division grew by 47.5 per cent to £14.9m.

Chief executive Simon Fox said: "The Group continues to make good progress with the delivery of our strategic initiatives as clearly demonstrated in the performance for the first half of 2014.

"This momentum gives the Board confidence that our performance for the year will be marginally ahead of expectations.

"The strengthened financial position of the business together with continued strong cash flows also support the Board's intention to reinstate dividends at the end of this year.

"This will be the first dividend paid by the Group since 2008."

Read Trinity Mirror's half-year financial statement in full here.

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