The UK's biggest local newspaper group, and owner of the Mirror, has reported a big bump in profit and revenue for 2016 – but said the industry is still battling headwinds from falling print advertising.
Annual profit rose 24 per cent after the publisher picked up local paper group Local World back in October 2015 in a deal worth £220m. The acquisition more than offset losses incurred by the group's failed new daily paper – the New Day – which closed after less than three months after disappointing circulation figures.
Adjusted pre-tax profit was £133.2m, compared to £107.5m in the previous year.
Revenues were up by a fifth, from £592m to £713m.
But Trinity Mirror noted print advertising revenues dropped 17.9 per cent on a like-for-like basis last year. It expects like-for-like revenues to fall by nine per cent in the first two months of 2017.
It also announced structural cost savings of £25m, which it said was £10m ahead of target.
Shares were up nearly two per cent in early trading, at 121.55p.
Why it's interesting
Just last month, Trinity Mirror served a reminder of the "financial pressure" the industry is battling, announcing more job cuts.
It announced it was making dozens of redundancies across its regional newsrooms, followed by more job cuts at its national newspapers operation.
And while sales and profits jumped last year, the publisher struck a cautious note about the future, noting the "challenging environment", adding print markets will remain "challenging and volatile in 2017".
Also last month, Trinity Mirror confirmed it was in talks with Northern & Shell, the parent company of the Express titles, to buy The Express – but the firm didn't provide any further details on that development in today's results.
What the company said
Simon Fox, chief executive of Trinity Mirror, said:
We have delivered a strong financial performance in the year despite the challenging environment we face.
I am particularly pleased with the progress we have made in growing our digital audience and revenue, and with the work we have done this year to develop and refine our strategic priorities for the year ahead.