By Ravender Sembhy
Profits at Daily Mirror publisher Trinity rose last year as the benefits of a cost-cutting drive offset falling revenues, with the group also announcing a name change following a deal to buy the Daily Express.
Pre-tax profits at Trinity Mirror grew from £76.5m (€85.8m) to £81.9m in 2017, while revenue fell 12.6% to £623.2m on the back of declining print advertising sales.
Print advertising revenue fell by 24.9% in the period, or 19.3% on a like-for-like basis.
Classified advertising also came under pressure, Trinity added, with revenue falling by 25.1% as it was dragged down by declines in recruitment and property.
As part of its update, Trinity also said it would change its name to Reach, which it said more accurately reflects the evolution of the publishing company.
Chief executive Simon Fox said: “Through our content we reach millions of people every day.
“Our reach extends across multiple platforms in both print and digital and across the cities and communities that we serve.
“We think this is a name which better reflects what we do and what our ambitions are.”
The group said it delivered £20m of cost savings in the year, £5m ahead of its initial £15m target.
For 2018, Trinity is targeting a further £15m of savings.
Mr Fox said: “We once again delivered a strong financial performance in what remains a difficult trading environment for the industry.
“I am pleased with the acquisition of the publishing assets of Northern & Shell in line with our strategic focus on consolidation, and I believe this presents significant opportunities to realise real value.
“Having made good progress with our strategy in 2017, we will build on this in the year ahead,” he added.
Last month Trinity struck a £126.7m deal to buy a string of titles from Northern & Shell, including the Daily Express, the Daily Star and OK! magazine.
The move marks a major shake-up of Britain’s media landscape, bringing together the politically left-leaning Sunday Mirror, with more right-wing publications such as the Sunday Express.