Regional advertising sales plunged 37 per cent at Trinity Mirror at the start of the year, contributing to a fall in group revenues of almost a fifth.
The group, which publishes The Mirror as well as a series of regional titles, said yesterday that total advertising was down 30 per cent in the 17 weeks to 26 April over the previous year, with the regionals worst hit.
Lorna Tilbian, an analyst at Numis Securities, called the interim management statement "gloomy" and forecast full-year profit before tax would be £55m.
Group revenues fell 18 per cent as a result of the ad slump. Yet, the group expects to deliver positive cash flow from its £25m cost-cutting drive, stable financing, new technology systems and "relatively robust circulation revenue". Circulation fell 4 per cent, although once more the regionals suffered, down 8 per cent.
Trinity Mirror was relatively upbeat about its outlook for 2009, saying: "The trading conditions are impacting, to some extent, all our sources of revenue although we expect the rate of decline to ease as we go through the remainder of the year as we benefit from weaker comparatives."Reuse content