Trinity Mirror suffered a slump of 5.4 per cent in adjusted group revenue in the 17 weeks to the end of October as a declining ad yield was exacerbated by a poor September.
The publisher, which counts the Liverpool Echo and the Manchester Evening News amongst its flagship brands, said today that adjusted advertising revenue declined 4.6 per cent year on year in the period.
Excluding its particularly poor performance in September, adjusted ad revenue was down 3.4 per cent year on year – which would have been an improvement of 0.7 per cent from the declines suffered in the first half of the company’s financial year, it said.
Adjusted circulation revenue declined 6.7 per cent in the period, the company said, with digital revenue declining 2.4 per cent year on year.
‘Trading since the half year has remained volatile due to the fragile economic environment and the uncertainty resulting from the Government spending review,’Trinity Mirror said.
‘Whilst September advertising revenues were below recent trends the board is encouraged by an improvement in the rate of advertising revenue decline in October to two per cent.”
Trinity Mirror issued an interim management statement this morning containing ‘adjusted’figures which discounted the effect of its purchase in February of the MEN and other parts of GMG Regional Media to provide an picture of its ongoing business performance.
Including revenues brought by GMG Regional Media, Trinity Mirror said total revenue rose four per cent year on year in the period with ad revenue up 13 per cent, digital revenue up six per cent, other revenue up one per cent but circulation revenue down four per cent.
‘GMG Regional Media continues to perform ahead of expectations for both revenues and profits,’Trinity Mirror said.
‘The business is now fully integrated into the group operations and the MEN business has also been relocated to offices adjacent to our print plant in Chadderton, Greater Manchester.”
Trinity Mirror said adding GMG Regional Media to its portfolio had helped its regional newspaper division ad revenue grow 21.4 per cent in the period – on an adjusted basis it fell 6.7 per cert.
In the company’s national newspaper division advertising revenues declined by 1.3 per cent in the period – with a 5.9 per cent decline in September.
Excluding September, national advertising revenue was up 0.8 per cent. However, national circulation revenues declined 6.5 per cent for the period while digital revenue was up 3.1 per cent.
Trinity Mirror said it remained on track to deliver structural cost savings of £25 million with the absolute cost base falling by circa £60 million for the full year.
The company said it remained cash generative and net debt had fallen by a further £20 million to £288 million since the half year.