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Regional profits up 67pc at Trinity Mirror

Profits were up 67pc at Trinity Mirror’s regional division, its half-yearly financial report shows.

The group’s statement for the year to 4 July was released today and shows profits for the regional side of its business were up from £17.3m to £28.9m.

Trinity Mirror acquired GMG Regional Media in March, which includes the Manchester Evening News, and this resulted in profits of £2.7m and revenues of £18.2m – with the statement saying the titles performed ahead of initial expectations.

And the acquisition also contributed to revenues for the division growing by 4.5pc, while excluding GMG Regional Media meant a fall in revenues of 7.2pc – an improvement from the 23.5pc decline during the whole of 2009.

At the group overall, operating profit was up by 25.7pc to £61.7m but revenue was flat at £382.2m, down by £0.8m.

The report also shows regional advertising revenues excluding GMG Regional Media fell by 8pc, compared to declines of 34.5pc in the first half of 2009 and 22.8pc in the second half.

Display advertising was up 2pc, recruitment down 20pc, property down 9pc, motors down 14.9pc and other classified categories down 11pc.

Chief executive Sly Bailey said: “We have continued to invest in the business through the downturn in strengthening the portfolio and delivering IT led efficiencies, in addition to maintaining a keen focus on costs.

“We are now reaping the benefits of these actions with profits increasing and slowing rates of decline in underlying revenues.

“The acquisition of GMG Regional Media was a clear demonstration of our ability to lead consolidation in regional media in a way that adds substantial value for shareholders.”

The report said good progress had been made in integrating GMG Regional Media titles into the division, with MEN Media due to relocate to a new building in Chadderton, Greater Manchester, in September.

Comments

Watchin’ (29/07/2010 11:15:40)
Yes, “We are now reaping the benefits of these actions with profits increasing…” says Sylvia Bailey, also know as Sly. Then again, you would expect profits to grow after a 40% reduction in staffing since 2008 and an average 10% increase in cover prices. How else can million-pound boardroom bonuses be justified? But the worry is that 80%+ of revenues and profits still emanate from print products, and the latter have circulations annually decimated by a dereliction of investment and resulting fall in quality. Extra profits are being squeezed out for now, cue ‘hurrah’ from the city; but the longevity of titles is threatened by such greed.

J Dale (29/07/2010 12:38:47)
Well done Sly! You’re slowly but surely turning that ramshackle company around.

Sly Dig (29/07/2010 12:54:38)
“And the acquisition also contributed to revenues for the division growing by 4.5pc, while excluding GMG Regional Media meant a fall in revenues of 7.2pc – an improvement from the 23.5pc decline during the whole of 2009.”
So in reality, profits grew despite an overall fall in revenues. I wonder how this was achieved? Oh yes, cost cutting at the business end, I bet journalists have once again been slashed and burnt.

northernhack (29/07/2010 13:39:10)
Congratulations Trinity Mirror! Maybe the MEN journalists facing redundancy will now be told their jobs are safe. Or mebbe not…..