British newspaper giant Trinity Mirror is warning of continued gloom after ad revenues fell in the second quarter.

The country’s largest newspaper publisher – owner of national titles such as The Mirror plus 257 regional papers – warned that ad conditions remained volatile over the first six months of 2003 and will continue to do so “for the rest of the year”.

Advertising revenues fell 0.4% in the second quarter, cancelling out the 0.6% rise achieved over the first three months of 2003. Trinity blamed the conflict in Iraq as well as the lack of an ad-boosting sports event such as the soccer World Cup this time last year.

The group’s national division suffered most, especially its Scottish titles – the Daily Record and the Sunday Mail – where advertising tumbled 3.4%.

Regional papers – which generate nearly two-thirds of Trinity’s total ad revenue – fared better, posting a 1.2% increase in advertising.

Trinity also admitted that the costly price war The Mirror started with arch-rival The Sun had backfired, with overall circulation revenues for the first half expected to be 4.4% down year-on-year.

Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff