Newspapers feeling pinch
Record and Mail group doubles cuts as print revenue falls
The company said the revenue environment has “remained challenging” throughout the first half, continuing the trends experienced at the end of 2014. The latest cutback is double the target set in Marc.
However, while monthly revenue trends are expected to be impacted by further volatility for the rest of the year, the Board continues to expect profits for the year to be in line with expectations.
During the 26 weeks to 28 June revenue is expected to fall by 11% year on year with underlying revenue falling by 9%. On an underlying basis Publishing revenue is expected to fall by 9%, with print declining by 11% and digital growing by 26%.
“We continue to deliver strong growth in our digital audience with average monthly unique users and page views growing by over 50%,” it said in a statement.
“The growth in audience drove an increase in digital display revenue of over 40%. Mobile continues to be an increasingly important component of digital revenue growth and we are enhancing our products and advertising formats to take advantage of the ongoing opportunity in this area.
“Publishing print revenue trends have been adversely impacted by more challenging print advertising markets with print advertising revenue expected to fall by 19% in the period. On an underlying basis print advertising revenue is expected to fall by 17%.
“The key retail and telecoms categories have been more challenging reflecting tough comparators and reduced volumes across the market. Circulation revenue is expected to fall by 6%, with trends improving from May following a cover price increase for the Daily Mirror Monday to Friday edition.
“The business continues to deliver strong cash flows and paid a dividend of £7.5 million in June 2015, the first dividend payment since 2008.”
“In light of the more challenging revenue environment the Group has reviewed its current cost reduction programme and is now targeting structural cost savings of £20 million for the year, an increase on the £10 million target announced in March 2015.
“This coupled with ongoing cost mitigation actions and continued investment to drive digital audience and revenue will help underpin profits. The increased targeted cost savings will result in restructuring costs increasing by some £5 million to £15 million.”
The company echoed its announcement on 4 June that its subsidiary, MGN Limited is seeking permission to appeal the judgment handed down by Mr Justice Mann on 21 May in relation to civil claims relating to phone hacking.
“As we have previously indicated, there remains uncertainty as to how matters will progress. Further updates will be made if there are any significant developments.”