Pre-tax profits fell from £84.8m to £28.9m for the six months to July 3, with revenues also down from £382.2m to £371m compared to the year before.
Group digital revenue rose from £18.3m to £19.1m, while average monthly unique users for the period surged 28% year-on-year to 26m. this period included the acquisition of GMG Regional Media, and fish4. In June the figure jumped a further 1m to 27m unique users – up 31% year-on-year.
Circulation revenues rise 2% year-on-year following the closure of News of the World, a factor that also helped reduce the fall in ad revenues to 3% year-on-year in July, according to its interim results statement.
The company says “the economic environment remains difficult”, and that the revenue and profit falls were as a result of “ongoing public sector spending cuts, tax increases and weak retail sales”.
Trinity Mirror CEO Sly Bailey, on the other hand, is “highly encouraged” by the circulation volume growth it has seen across its national Sunday papers following the closure of its rival Sunday title.
Bailey says: “In July, following the closure of the News of the World we undertook a range of publishing and marketing activities to maximise our share of the Sunday newspaper market. The early results of this activity are highly encouraging with an increase in both volume and revenue of each of our six Sunday newspaper titles, particularly so for our three national titles.
“The benefits are evident in the improved Group circulation revenues in July which are up 2% year on year with our Nationals up 4%, a significant improvement from the 5.4% decline in Group circulation revenues in the first half.”
The news follows the newspaper’s third major round of restructuring within a year, the latest iteration of which saw the departure of digital marketing director Paul Hood.
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