Bailey to raise Mirror price and cut more jobs

The Daily Mirror is to raise its cover price next week, Trinity Mirror announced yesterday, as it revealed its best full-year operating performance since 1999. The company also added a further £7m to its cost-saving targets, which is likely to mean fresh job cuts.

The price increase marks an attempt to put behind it an earlier price war with the Daily Mirror's arch-rival The Sun. From Monday, the price of the Daily Mirror will increase from 32p to 35p, a move that could bring in an additional £17m in revenues. The Sun costs 30p.

Sly Bailey, who was brought in as chief executive a year ago, said the company had repositioned the Daily Mirror, differentiating it in a way that would allow it to increase its price.

The Daily Mirror has been losing circulation for years, within an overall declining newspaper market. Ms Bailey did not commit herself to reversing that trend. "The important thing is to maintain market share," she said.

The company is to establish a new magazine division for its national titles, which will be headed by Phil Hall, the former editor of the News of the World.

The division's first new product will be a weekly magazine, published with the Daily Mirror on Wednesdays, that will be based on the "3am" celebrity gossip section of the newspaper. The magazine, which will be free, will be targeted at women.

Ms Bailey used to run IPC, the consumer magazine publisher, prompting speculation that the new magazine unit at Trinity Mirror may turn to paid-for magazines in time. She said there were no such plans. However, the company said it had "assembled a small strategic development team that is beginning to explore the longer-term growth options and routes that may lie open to the group."

Before exceptional items, group pre-tax profits increased 11 per cent to £172.5m. Margins at both the regionals and nationals improved. The savings target for this year was increased from £16m to £18m and for next year from £25m to £30m.

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