Earning: UK's Trinity Mirror Falls On Ad Weakness, Set To Worsen

This story was written by Robert Andrews.
The worsening ad market saw operating profit at the UK's largest newspaper group, Trinity Mirror, fall 15 percent to 80.5 million ($159 million) in the half-year to June, despite digital revenue growing 40.2 percent to 22.3 million ($44.1 million)an increasingly familiar pattern. Digital revenue grew 100.6 percent from a low base inside Trinity's national papers and 33.6 percent in regionals, where most publishers are seeing classifieds ads taking a pounding - ads were down three percent in January but 11.3 percent in June, and group-wide are down 15 percent so far in July.

So, whilst it's still on track to make 20 million ($39.5 million) in 2008 cost cuts, it's today announced a new round of cuts for 2009, with "at least" another 20 million due to be shaved off through better ad systems and multimedia newsroom integration. In the call, CEO Sly Bailey came out fighting with the most curious of historical contexts: "I say this to those who will write newspapers' obituary - our portfolio of iconic media brands has survived two World Wars, a Depression and multimedia they are resilient, and will still be here newspapers will be around for many years to come." She set a target of 100 million ($197.9 million) organic digital revenue by 2011 and doubling web users to 24 million by 2010. See PCUK's full earnings report and write-up from the analysts call

By Robert Andrews