Trinity Mirror is closing in on the purchase of Express Newspapers publisher Northern and Shell from Richard Desmond.
It said this morning that “the group continues to make progress on discussions to acquire 100 per cent of the publishing assets of Northern and Shell”.
In a trading update it said group revenue on a like for like basis (excluding discontinued businesses) fell 8 per cent year on year, a slight improvement on the 9 per cent decline in the first half.
It remains on course to cut £20m of costs over the course of the year.
Net debt fell by £3m to £19m in the period, it said.
Trinity said: “We are experiencing improving trends in nationally sourced print advertising revenues, though local advertising, particularly classified remain challenging and volatile.”
Across the board print revenue fell 10 per cent while the smaller digital segment grew by 4 per cent.
Print advertising was down 16 per cent and circulation revenue fell 7 per cent.
Trinity Mirror is the UK’s largest regional newspaper publisher and also publishes the Mirror and People titles and the Daily Record and Sunday Mail in Scotland.
In the first half of this year Trinity Mirror reported revenue down £55m to £320m and adjusted operating profit down £6.5m year-on-year to £62.6m.