Sly Bailey, new high profile ceo at UK newspaper group Trinity Mirror, announced the end of cover price-cutting at flagship title The Mirror as the group posted a decline in revenues.
Total sales slipped 2.9% to £1.09 billion ($1.72bn; €1.59bn) in 2002 on the back of weak advertising and the impact of a tabloid price war with Rupert Murdoch’s News International. However, earnings before tax and exceptional items increased by 1.9% to £155.5 million.
Its national newspapers suffered a 7.6% fall in revenues to £205.9m, while advertising fell 3.3% for the year. Trinity’s regional titles posted an operating profit of £120.1m.
Termination of The Mirror’s discounting tactics has been expected for some weeks [WAMN: 10-Feb-02]. The paper launched the price war over the summer, but was largely outgunned by News International.
As to the future, Bailey refused to comment on speculation she may sell off titles or even break up the company. “I will define a clear unambiguous direction for the group,” she declared. ”And once defined I can look at the structure.”
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff