Grim Outlook for UK's Largest Newspaper Group

04 August 2008

LONDON: Woe and thrice woe at Trinity Mirror, Britain's largest newspaper publisher. Hit by the quadruple whammy of falling ad revenues, declining circulations, higher materials costs and a southbound economy, the company issued a grim outlook for the second half of 2008.

Reporting lower profits and revenues for the year's first half, TM finance director Vijay Vaghela said comparable statistics for 2007 suggested that the fall in ad revenues would be more pronounced against the troubled economic backdrop of 2008.

"In 2007, we had a better H2 and a worse H1," said. Vaghela "[In 2008] we think it will be double-digit declines in the second half."

Difficult economic conditions in H1 2008 led to an 8% fall in revenues to £460.8 million ($912.66m; €585.45m) on continuing operations.

Operating losses narrowed to £12.7m compared with £55.6m year-on-year, while pre-tax losses fell from £70.4m to £20.6m.

The group announced a new cost-savings target of at least another £20m in the current fiscal, while overall performance is expected to meet expectations.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff