MEDIA group Trinity Mirror has said it believes its full-year performance will be in line with expectations despite “volatile” trading, after it reported an improvement in revenue trends and increased digital progress in the third quarter.
The company, which owns the Daily Mirror newspaper and the Daily Record and Sunday Mail in Scotland, said revenue in the 13 weeks to 27 September fell by 9 per cent compared with 13 per cent in the 13 weeks to 28 June.
Underlying revenue dropped by 7 per cent, down from 10 per cent in the second quarter. The group added that on an underlying basis, publishing revenue fell by 6 per cent, with print dropping by 8 per cent and digital growing by 24 per cent.
The group also said it is still delivering “strong” growth in its digital audience, with average monthly unique users up by 31 per cent and page views up by 48 per cent.
Publishing digital revenue grew by 24 per cent and publishing digital display advertising revenue saw an increase of 33 per cent.
The group also noted an improvement in trends, with underlying circulation and print advertising revenue for the publishing division falling by 5 per cent and 16 per cent respectively in the quarter. That compared to 5 per cent and 23 per cent respectively in the previous quarter.
The group also noted that the appeal lodged by its subsidiary MGN Limited (MGN) regarding civil claims for phone hacking has been speeded up and is to be heard over two days later this month.
“At this stage we cannot be specific on the timing of the outcome of the appeal,” Trinity Mirror said.
The appeal relates to the judgement in May surrounding damages to be paid to victims of phone hacking. At the time the group said MGN had “already accepted that it should pay appropriate compensation to individuals who were the target of phone hacking”, but it was challenging the way damages were calculated.
Trinity Mirror also said at the time that it was growing its provision to deal with phone hacking matters by £16 million, on top of £12m provided in 2014.
The group added in yesterday’s trading update that although trading conditions remain “volatile,” it is optimistic.
“We continue to make good progress against our strategic initiatives and the business continues to deliver strong cash flows,” it said in a statement, adding that it was confident that it can deliver structural cost savings of £20m for the year.
Last month Trinity Mirror said it was in talks for a takeover of regional newspaper group Local World.