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Reach to ‘invest further’ after recruiting 400 journalists this year

Jim Mullen 1Reach plc has vowed to “invest further in digital content” after recruiting around 400 journalists this year.

The publisher has set out its goals after revealing it is “currently trading ahead of full year expectations”.

In a trading update issued this morning, the company revealed overall revenue was up 1.2pc year-on-year for the period between 28 June and 21 November 2021.

Digital revenue had increased by 17.2pc, although print revenue was down by 3.5pc.

A two-year like-for-like comparison versus the same period in 2019 showed a 36.4pc increase in digital revenue, but drops of 21.4pc in print, 15.6pc in circulation and 29.2pc in advertising meant overall group revenue was down 11.9pc by the same metric.

A restructure during the coronavirus pandemic last year saw the company shed approximately 550 jobs, around 300 of which were journalism roles.

But the company revealed it has since taken on around 400 additional digital editorial roles across both its national and local titles.

The update states: “While transformation in 2020 enabled a more efficient and adaptable operating model, we remain vigilant regarding wider consumer confidence and inflationary pressure in the post-pandemic environment.

“We have begun to see an increase in the cost of print production, particularly for energy and newsprint.

“With the longer-term effect on the cost base still emerging, we are closely monitoring developments and will continue to prioritise efficiencies to mitigate the impact.”

Reach chief executive Jim Mullen, pictured, said: “Strategic delivery is transforming our prospects for growth and we’re progressing towards our goal of doubling digital revenue over the medium term.

“Registration numbers are strong, and advertisers are responding to our expanded portfolio of data-led products.

“Together with our efficient operating model, this is enabling us to invest further in digital content as we build a modern and inclusive media business.”