Trinity Mirror, publisher of national titles The Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, plus a raft of regional newspapers, plans to slash eight hundred jobs across the next two years in a bid to bolster sagging profits.

The decimation was announced as the company reported first half profits of £80.9 million, ahead of analysts’ expectation but down 10% on the £89.6m earned in the same period last year. Shares slipped 0.7% to 385p at the news, teetering toward a five-year trough as investors’ twitched over the global slump in ad revenues.

TM’s regional titles fared better than their national siblings with an increase in like-for-like revenues of 4.4% to £273.4m. In contrast the nationals increased their aggregated adspend by only 2.3%, a figure that disguises a second quarter slippage of 2.9% – and a seven per cent nosedive in June.

According to chief executive Philip Graf, two hundred jobs have already been excised with a further six hundred facing the axe. The bloodletting is part of an overall cost-cutting drive, forecast to save £25m-£28m in 2002 and £30m-£35m the following year.

Graf reported an "encouraging" response to the June launch of online betting site, an offshoot of TM’s Racing Post title and sibling to its extant venture.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)