Mixed results for Trinity Mirror

Trinity Mirror has produced mixed trading results, which indicated that it has not yet stemmed the decline in print advertising revenues, although it has yet to be been hit by any claims over telephone hacking.

Trinity Mirror has produced mixed trading results, which indicated that it has not yet stemmed the decline in print advertising revenues, although it has yet to be been hit by any claims over telephone hacking.

As a result the company expects adjusted operating profits to be broadly in line with 2011's figure of £104m.

In a trading update covering the 17 weeks to October 28th, the publisher of five national newspapers and 130 regional titles said the decline in advertising revenues had continued.

"The Daily Mirror has outperformed the tabloid market and our other national and regional titles continue to perform broadly in line with the market. However, the challenging trading environment, coupled with tougher comparatives for the second half of 2012 following the closure of the News of the World in July 2011, have contributed to an expected increase in the rate of decline in revenues over the period relative to the first half."

On a more positive note, it added: "...Robust operating profits and strong cash flow during the period enabled a further £19m reduction in net debt, giving a total reduction of £59m for the year to date, to £162m.

Its pension deficit increased during the period due to a fall in long term interest rates. The deficit increased by £73m from £210m at the half year to £283m at the end of September 2012. This reflected an increase in liabilities of £131m partially offset by an increase in asset values of £58m.

Surprisingly, it hasn't yet been hit by any claims over phone hacking, as it explained: "Following the extensive publicity given to recent claims of alleged wrong doing by Trinity Mirror journalists, the Board can confirm that no such claims have yet been served, nor have any particulars of such claims been provided. As a result, we are today issuing notices requiring claim forms to be served."

There was no update on its taking a minority interest in a in a new company comprising the assets of Northcliffe Media and Iliffe News & Media, as announced on October 29th.

Divisional breakdownBreaking the performance down by division, among the Nationals total revenue fell by 12% to £135m with advertising revenues falling by 9%, circulation revenues falling by 18% and other revenues increasing by 5%.

Among the regionals total revenue fell by 9% to £89m with advertising revenues falling by 13%, circulation revenues falling by 6% and other revenues increasing by 8%.

Digital revenues grew by 8% for the period with Nationals in line with the prior year and regionals growing by 9%. Excluding Communicator Corp, which was acquired in December 2011, digital revenues fell by 1%.

CM

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