Trinity Mirror describes latest financial results as ‘creditable’

THE publishers of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail newspapers have registered what they say is a “creditable” set of financial figures for last year.

Says chief executive, Sly Bailey, and chair, Sir Ian Gibson, in response to preliminary financial results for 2011, announced this morning by Trinity Mirror: “We are pleased to report that the group has delivered a creditable performance and remained highly cash generative during 2011, whilst remaining on-track with its restructuring programme, demonstrating the strength of our portfolio, the power of our brands and the quality of our journalistic content.”

Trinity Mirror also publishes numerous local newspaper titles in Scotland, plus various websites which was joined today by an online ‘daily bargains’ service called ‘happli’, which, say the publishers, is expected to generate circa £20million of additional revenue within two years. ‘Happli’ is being specifically introduced today for Glasgow, Edinburgh and Liverpool deals.

The publishers go on to say that an operating profit would have been made last year had their bill for newsprint not gone up by £22million.

Several financial websites today are concentrating on the publishers having secured new bank facilities. Say the publishers, to that effect: “We have also announced today a new £110million bank facility through to August 2015 together with agreed reduced pension funding obligations for the next three years. Our resilient cash flows, improving financial position and secure longer-term financing underpin the value proposition of the business.”

Adds the company: “Total revenues during the year were £746.6million; £14.9million lower than in 2010, with adjusted operating profit declining by £18.8million to £104.5 million. The decline in operating profit was higher than the fall in revenues reflecting the impact of input cost increases, in particular newsprint prices which increased by some £22million and incremental investment of some £5million.

“The increase in costs has been partially mitigated by structural cost savings of £25million during the year and other cost reductions across the business. Without the newsprint price increase, operating profit would have increased year-on-year. Continued strong cash flow management ensured net debt fell by £44.7million to £221.2million.”

The company also says it is operating to three, key strategies: “A reduction in fixed costs, portfolio management and leveraging our print assets; the technology-led transformation of our publishing capabilities to support a multi-platform media business, ensuring we have the appropriate infrastructure in place to efficiently publish and drive revenues across print and digital; and investing for growth through the combination of organic development and acquisition.”