Trinity Mirror total revenue down five per cent

Trinity Mirror today revealed a year-on-year fall in revenue of five per cent in the first 17 weeks of the year yet said it expected GMG Regionals to turn a profit this year.

Despite revealing a fall in revenue the company said it expected ‘a satisfactory performance for 2010’although the economic outlook remained “cautious” as trading conditions remained “volatile”.

In addition to the five per cent like-for-like fall in overall revenue in the 17-week period to 2 May, Trinity Mirror recorded a like-for-like fall in ad revenue of five per cent – with a decline of three per cent for January and February and a decline of six per cent for March and April and a fall of six per cent in circulation revenue.

The company’s regional newspaper business recorded advertising revenues down eight per cent year on year.

With the exception of display advertising, which rose by four per cent, all advertising categories in Trinity Mirror Regionals were down year on year with declines in the period of 20 per cent for recruitment, nine per cent for property, 15 per cent for motors and 11 per cent for other classified categories.

In Trinity’s national newspaper division, home of the Mirror, Sunday Mirror and the Daily Record, advertising revenues for the period were flat year on year.

Group digital revenues for the period on a like for like basis fell by eight per cent.

These figures exclude the impact of GMG Regionals, bought by Trinity Mirror on 28 March. During the five weeks to 2 May, GMG Regionals contributed revenue of £6m to the company.

A management statement from Trinity this morning said: ‘The acquisition is expected to be profitable during 2010 and is performing ahead of our expectations.”

Trinity Mirror completed the acquisition of the 32 newspapers that made up GMG Regionals, including the Manchester Evening News, from Guardian Media Group for a cash outlay of £7.4m

When revenues from GMG were taken into consideration, Trinity’s group revenue over the 17-week period fell by two per cent year on year.

Trinity said net debt was £333m on 2 May and that it was on track to achieve at least the £20 million targeted reduction in the underlying cost base in 2010.

The company said it continued to operate comfortably within its banking covenants.

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