Thursday 2 May 2019 9:38 am

Mirror publisher Reach posts revenues slip ahead of shareholder showdown

Mirror publisher Reach has posted a dip in revenue amid reduced demand for its print products, as it gears up for a showdown with investors over executive pay.

Like-for-like revenue fell by 6.4 per cent in the first four months of the year, driven by a 7.9 per cent drop in print revenues.

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But the drop is an improvement on the 7.8 per cent slide posted in the same period in 2018, and the firm is looking to shift its focus to its more lucrative digital business.

Overall revenue grew 4.4 per cent over the four-month period, as Reach feels the benefit of its £127m acquisition of the Express & Star group last year.

Reach said the deal, which saw it take control of the Daily Express, Daily Star and OK! Magazine, will deliver savings of at least £20m per year by 2020.

Shares in Reach rose more than two per cent following the update.

“I am pleased with the solid start to the year and the positive improvement in revenue trends,” said chief executive Simon Fox.

“We also continue to make good strategic progress, most importantly with a range of digital projects to drive both page views and revenue, the effects of which we expect to see in the second half of the year.”

The update comes ahead of a potential shareholder rebellion at the company amid discontent at bumper pay packages for top executives.

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Shareholder advisory group ISS has urged investors to vote down a remuneration report proposing share awards to Fox and other company bosses, citing an 11 per cent fall in the company’s share price last year.

Shareholders will vote on the pay plan at the firm’s annual general meeting later today.