Further falls in print revenue and sales
Trinity making ‘good progress’ on Express deal
The company, which also publishes the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, People, Manchester Evening News and a range of other local papers, confirmed the talks in October.
In a trading update it said it also said it expects group revenue on a like-for-like basis to fall by 9% in the fourth quarter.
It said 20% digital growth will be offset by declines in print advertising and revenue of 21% and 7% respectively.
Classified publishing digital revenue, which is substantially jointly sold with print, remains under pressure reducing expected publishing digital revenue growth for the quarter to 10%.
The company insists it is continuing “to make progress against our strategic initiatives” whilst supporting profits and delivering strong cash flows.
It says this will contribute to a further fall in net debt. The board expects performance for the year to be in line with expectations.
During November the Group completed the £10 million share repurchase programme announced in August 2016. The group acquired 10 million shares.
It has agreed with its trustees that annual contributions to the three pension schemes will increase by £8m to £44m per year for a period of 10 years from next year.
The increase in annual contributions reflects the increase in deficits since the last valuation which has been largely driven by the fall in long term interest rates.