Monday 1 March 2021 7:58 am

Daily Mirror owner Reach sees profit fall despite stronger second half

Reach today posted a 12.8 per cent fall in profit as the newspaper publisher reported a stronger second half of the year.

The firm, which owns the Mirror and the Express, said that profit fell to £133.8m, in line with expectations.

An 18.9 per cent decline in print revenue over the year sent the group’s overall revenue down 14 per cent to £600.2m.

However, Reach said that revenue and digital demand had improved in the second half of the year.

It was very much a tale of two halves for the firm, with a 29.5 per cent decline in print revenue the result of a sharp fall in circulation in the first six months of the year.

However, digital revenue increased 10.8 per cent over the year – driven by a 20 per cent jump in the second half – despite a fall in advertising yields in the first half.

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The company said its registered users, who are more valuable to advertisers, now stood at 5.8m, more than halfway towards its target for the end of 2022.

Chief executive Jim Mullen said: “Reach has become a stronger business in 2020 thanks to the ongoing hard work and commitment of our people during this unprecedented year.

“Resilience in print circulation is the foundation for the strong cash generation which underpins strategic investment, our pension commitments and growing returns to shareholders. 

“While macro-economic uncertainty resulting from Covid-19 clearly remains, the Group is well placed to make good progress during 2021 and to generate increased long term value as the strategy gathers momentum.