Media hit

Rising print costs to hit profits at Record publisher

Record and Express
Print costs are rising

Media group Reach, publisher of the Mirror, Record and Express titles, saw its shares plunge as it warned that higher printing costs are set to impact profits this year.

It said rising costs were being felt the most across newspaper print production, with soaring energy prices adding to supply chain challenges.

The warning took the shine off figures showing its first like-for-like growth in revenue for 15 years, driven by a 25.4% rise digital income.

Group revenue rose 2.6% to £615.8m in the year to 26 December while and an operating profit rose 9.2% to £146.1m.

The publisher says digital now accounts for 24% of all group revenue, more than offsetting a 4.7% decline in print and other revenues.

The group was able to post like-for-like growth in overall revenue for the first time since its forerunner Trinity Mirror in 2007.

However, Reach said its print titles continued to generate the bulk of revenues during 2021. As a result, the company said, there is expected to be a “modest year-on-year reduction in operating profit” for this year.

The group set aside £29m for resolving civil claims in relation to historical claims of phone hacking and unlawful information gathering, and a one-off £23.7m cost caused by a mass office closure programme, which saw the company reduce its number of physical newsrooms to 15.

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