UK's Largest Newspaper Group Battens Down the Hatches

19 November 2007

BARCELONA: Another despatch from Morgan Stanley's annual media conference, held last week in the Catalonian capital. This time from Trinity Mirror, the leader of the UK's beleaguered newspaper industry.

Ceo Sly (Sylvia) Bailey (pictured) confessed her disappointment that TM's selloff strategy had delivered less than half the folding money for which she, her board and her shareholders had fervently hoped.

Bailey and the group's cfo Vijay Vaghela blame the cash drought on the firm's 37% share price plunge in the past six months.

Said the latter: "If I were in a position to return capital today it would be a share buy-back." For better or for worse, the decision on a cash handout will be made in December.

As to the impact of the global subprime credit crunch, Bailey believes TM will make it through the night. "We've weathered previous storms and the fundamentals of the business are good," she told the calculator-thumbing moneymen.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff