The publisher of the Mirror, Express and Star newspaper titles has posted a pre-tax loss of Â£113.5m for the first half of this year, despite growing group revenue by 11 per cent to Â£353.8m.
Reach, formerly known as Trinity Mirror, has issued its financial report for the 26 weeks to 1 July which includes, for the first time, the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday.
The four national newspapers were officially acquired on 28 February 2018 following a deal with former owner Northern & Shell
When adjusted results are taken â€“ the figure given above is statutory â€“ Reach has posted a profit before tax of Â£64.7m.
Reach reported that like-for-like print publishing revenue fell by 9.3 per cent, but there was growth in like-for-like digital publishing revenue of 6 per cent, with digital display and transactional revenue growing by 11.5 per cent partially offset by a fall in digital classified revenue of 19.8 per cent.
Reach revealed it had made cost savings of Â£9m over the six-month period and expected this to reach Â£18m for the full year, above its intended target of Â£15m, including Â£2m from â€œsynergy savingsâ€� as the Express and Star teams are merged with the Mirror group.
Reach said it was on track to deliver annualised savings of Â£20m by 2020.
The company paid Â£126.7m deal to buy Express Newspapers from Richard Desmondâ€™s Northern & Shell this year, pushing up Reachâ€™s net debt by Â£72m to Â£81m for the period.
Reach chief executive Simon Fox said: â€œWe have delivered a positive financial performance in what remains a difficult trading environment for the industry, in particular the regional businesses.
â€œThe benefit of improved performance from national print advertising coupled with further cost mitigation will support profits over the year despite a further increase in newsprint prices for the second half.
â€œWe have started the process of integrating Express and Star in order to accelerate the benefits that our combined scale will deliver and have a clear strategy which fully reflects the changing shape of the group.â€�
Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Source: Digital Journalism