Advertising revenues tumble across Trinity Mirror

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The Independent Online

Trinity Mirror warned yesterday that the advertising market has continued to decline, with sharp fall-offs at its national papers such as the Daily Mirror and in regional recruitment ads.

Trinity, which has already announced an unspecified number of job cuts at its flagship tabloid, said it would move to cut costs across the company by up to £15m in 2006, incurring exceptional costs of about £12m this year. Total advertising revenues for the five months to November were down 7.9 per cent excluding acquisitions.

In a research note, the Numis research team said: "Although these results are weak, we believe there will be some relief they are not worse. In our view the Trinity management deserves credit for responding vigorously on the cost side to the difficult trading environment."

At Trinity's regional newspaper division, total advertising revenues fell 4.9 per cent. The company said recruitment ads plunged 20.5 per cent, citing the slowing economy and increasing unemployment. The company's shares ended down 5.5p at 575p. Ad revenues at its national papers fell 14.4 per cent.

In a statement, Trinity said: "The downward trend in the advertising market continues and there will be inflationary and other cost pressures in 2006, including higher newsprint prices. Management is running the business on the assumption the advertising environment will continue to be challenging."

The regional publisher Johnston Press reported a similarly bleak advertising climate this week. The dismal advertising outlook for newspapers is also expected to complicate Daily Mail & General Trust's sale of its Northcliffe regional newspaper unit.

Separately, SMG Television announced plans yesterday to cut 55 jobs at Grampian and Scottish TV as part of a reorganisation. The Glasgow company, which employs 450, said the losses were caused by a £30m investment in a new studio and office facilities, and a cut in its regional news output.