Trinity Mirror and Johnston Press feel the pressure

Trinity Mirror has reported group advertising revenuse down 30% for the first 17 weeks of the year compared to 2008 in a trading update.

Trinity Mirror has reported group advertising revenue down 30% for the first 17 weeks of the year compared to 2008 in a trading update.

And regional newspaper publisher Johnston Press has posted a fall of advertising revenues of 34% for the first 19 weeks of 2009 and warned that it is in danger of breaching banking covenants.

Trinity Mirror, publisher of titles such Daily Mirror and The People, stated group revenues dropped 18% year-on-year in its interim management statement.

Group digital revenues, the topic of much scrutiny among all publishers as they ponder what elements of their online offering they can charge for, fell 13%. The National division digital revenues dropped 11% and Regional division revenues by 14%.

The Nationals division saw revenues fall 17% over the period with the decline accelerating to 18% in March and April. Core display revenues fell by 11% over the 17 weeks.

The Regionals division saw ad revenues plummet 36% with display down 24% and 50% for recruitment.

Trinity Mirror is forecasting a drop in ad revenues for May for the Nationals of 10% and for the Regionals of 35%

The company said that the economic slowdown continues to impact on revenues and that it remains cautious about the future. However, it said it expected “to deliver positive cash flow” in 2009 due to a combination of cost cutting measures, the introduction if new UT systems and relatively robust circulation.

Trinity Mirror says that it would be well placed to take “full advantage” of revenue and profit benefits when market conditions improve.

Johnston Press, publisher of The Scotsman, did say that there had been “greater stability” in ad revenues in recent weeks.

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