Trinity Mirror revenues fall 10% in Q1 amid 'difficult' ad market

Trinity Mirror, the national and regional newspaper group, has reported a 10% drop in revenues for the start of 2013 following double-digit falls in display advertising.

Daily Mirror: 'continuing to achieve volume trends better than the market'
Daily Mirror: 'continuing to achieve volume trends better than the market'

In today’s interim management statement for the 17 weeks of trading to 28 April 2013, Trinity Mirror said the trading environment "remains challenging", with ad revenues tumbling 14% in January and February and 12% in March and April.

The publisher said in the statement: "Advertising markets remain difficult.  Display advertising during the period was down 11%, reflecting a lower rate of decline in March and April of 11% compared to a 12% decline for the first two months.

"Our most cyclical classified advertising categories, in particular recruitment, continued to be adversely impacted by the economy with declines of 26% in the period."

In addition to falling ad spend, printing revenues for the period fell 13%.

There were some bright spots, with the publisher of the Daily Mirror citing "improving circulation revenue trends," with the rate of decline falling to 3% in March and April following a series of cover price increases and strong circulation volume performance.

The Daily Mirror in particular is reported as "continuing to achieve volume trends better than the market".

Trinity Mirror’s chief executive Simon Fox has made expanding its digital operations a key priority since his arrival last summer and the company reported strong growth in digital audiences today, with unique users increasing 25% year on year to 31 million.

Page views across the portfolio which includes regional stalwarts Manchester Evening News and Reading Evening Post, were p a 36% to 163 million, credited to the ongoing roll out of its new digital content management system.

Speaking to Media Week last month, Fox said: "You have to have sufficient readers online that you can turn into commercial opportunity, either through advertising or related digital products – it might be through betting products, it might be through bingo, it might be through ecommerce.

"We're growing very fast – we were up 60% in March on page views. But we're not big enough. If you're going on a reach game, then you've got to have more reach, and we want to be part of our readers' daily lives, online and offline."

However, revenue trends have improved over the 17-week period, with the rate of decline in revenues slowing as the year progresses, this is expected to continue to improve as the company’s new strategic initiatives, including its One Trinity proposition, and targeted cost savings of £10m, start to take effect.

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