Nicholas Prettejohn

Chairman Designate and Non-Executive Director

Trinity Mirror

Trinity Mirror

17 weeks ending 27 April 2008

Trinity Mirror plc is today issuing its first Interim Management Statement, made in accordance with the UK Listing Authority's Disclosure and Transparency Rules. It covers the first 17 weeks of trading to 27 April 2008 and describes the Group's financial position and performance during the period, updated to the latest practicable date.

We continued to make steady progress throughout the period with the development of our strategy to build a growing multi-platform media business, via the launch and acquisition of new products and services complementing our print offering, the implementation of new technology platforms and new full colour presses along with improved processes.

Outlook
The outlook for the UK economy remains uncertain with the ongoing adverse implications of inflationary cost pressures, in particular energy and essential food items, and the wider implications of the credit crunch. These market conditions are adversely impacting consumer confidence and spending with the effect that businesses are curtailing marketing budgets to offset the prospect of slowing revenues. This has resulted in the advertising environment remaining difficult and volatile in the period since our last update at the end of February. Given this uncertain economic outlook for the UK we remain cautious about trading prospects.

Against this background, management will continue to implement the Group's new operating model which provides continued improvements and efficiencies to create a more robust business. In addition we continue to build digital revenues. The Group remains on track to deliver the incremental £7 million of cost savings (£20 million annualised) by the end of 2008 and cost control and operating efficiency remain at the core of our strategic focus. At this stage the Board anticipates performance for the year to be in line with expectations.

Divisional performance
Revenue performance in the first 17 weeks of the year on an actual and underlying basis was as follows:

 Year on Year Change 17 weeks to   27 April 2008
   Actual*  Underlying*
   %   %
 Group revenue   0.3   (2.7)
 Advertising  (3.1)  (4.3)
Circulation   (1.2)  (1.2)
 Other  29.8  0.7
 Group digital revenue included in above   44.1  26.5

 

* Actual includes acquisitions completed in 2007 and 2008 and service contracts in respect of the disposed businesses but excludes the disposals completed in 2007. Underlying includes the impact of acquisitions completed in 2007 and 2008 as if they had been owned by the Group in the current and corresponding period and excludes revenue from the service contracts in respect of the disposed businesses.

Actual Group revenues have increased by 0.3% while underlying revenues have decreased by 2.7%.

Actual Group advertising revenues in the period have fallen by 3.1% reflecting a decline of 3.2% for January and February and a decline of 3.0% for March and April. On an underlying basis, advertising revenues have fallen by 4.3% with a fall of 4.3% for January and February and 4.3% for March and April. Month on month volatility remains and we expect this to continue for the remainder of the year.

For our Regionals division actual advertising revenues in the period have fallen by 3.1% reflecting a decline of 3.0% for January and February and a decline of 3.3% for March and April. On an underlying basis, advertising revenues have fallen by 4.9% with a fall of 4.6% for January and February and 5.2% for March and April. By category the actual performance for the period was display up 0.2%, recruitment down 1.7%, property down 6.8%, motors down 16.3% and other classified categories were down 2.0%. On an underlying basis the decline in recruitment and property advertising was 4.9% and 11.5% respectively. Within advertising revenues, actual digital revenues have grown by 37.1% with an underlying increase of 20.6%.

For our Nationals division actual advertising revenues for the period fell by 2.9%. This reflects a decline of 3.5% for January and February and a decline of 2.4% for March and April. Advertising revenues for the UK Nationals fell by 2.0% and for the Scottish Nationals they fell by 5.2%. Within advertising revenues, actual digital revenues have grown by 10.9%.

Actual Group circulation revenues for the period have fallen by 1.2% with a decline of 1.1% for the Regionals and 1.3% for the Nationals. The Group continues to increase cover prices on a little and often basis. In January 2008 we increased the cover price of our Sunday national titles. With the exception of the Saturday editions, no change in cover price of our Daily national titles has taken place.

Actual Group other revenues for the period have grown by 29.8%, reflecting the benefit of acquisitions and service contracts, in particular printing, to the disposed businesses. On an underlying basis other revenues increased by 0.7% during the period.

Actual Group digital revenues for the period have grown by 44.1% with an increase of 38.6% for the Regionals and 95.3% for the Nationals. On an underlying basis Group digital revenues have grown by 26.5% with Regionals growing by 20.5%.

Capital expenditure

We have completed the investment in our Nationals presses giving our national and certain regional titles full colour. The investment required for the 12 year printing contract for the Independent and Independent on Sunday which was secured during 2007 will be completed in September 2008. In addition we have continued with our programme of developing and modernising our publishing operations across multi-media platforms through investment in our key IT systems.

Financing

As expected net debt increased by £162 million from £248 to £410 million during the period as follows:

  £m 
 Net debt as at 31 December 2007  248
 Share buy back  92
 Acquisitions  5
 Pension Contributions*  68
 Other cash flows**  (3)
 Net debt as at 27 April 2008  410

 

* includes special pension contribution of £54 million and ongoing deficit funding payments

** operating cash flows, capex, tax, interest, working capital

Undrawn committed facilities of £260 million are available to the Group. No new financing facilities were procured during the period and no debt facilities were repaid other than in accordance with their normal maturity date.

Acquisitions
During the period the Group completed the acquisitions of The Career Engineer Limited and Rippleffect Studio Limited for a combined initial consideration of £5.1 million with a potential deferred payment of up to £3.0 million subject to the management of these business achieving stretching growth targets for revenue and operating profits. Both acquisitions are included in the Regionals division and strengthen our digital portfolio.

Share buy back
The £175 million share buy back programme announced on 19 December 2007 is ongoing. At the Extraordinary General Meeting held on 29 February 2008 authority was given by shareholders to enable the Company to purchase sufficient shares to complete the buy back. As at 7 May 2008 the Group had acquired 31.4 million shares for a total consideration of 98.6 million.

Vijay Vaghela, Group Finance Director of Trinity Mirror plc, will be presenting at the Morgan Stanley TMT Conference in Barcelona today. His presentation will focus on the business and strategy of Trinity Mirror and will include the following update on current trading:

"As we indicated at the Group's interim results we have experienced a gradual improvement in advertising market conditions during 2007 and are pleased to announce that for the 10 months to the end of October underlying Group advertising revenues have grown marginally year on year. Whilst the advertising environment remains volatile month on month we are encouraged by the trends that are emerging. The Board is confident that our 2007 performance will be in line with our expectations.

Group advertising revenues for the 10 months to the end of October excluding the businesses disposed of and including all acquisitions on a like for like basis increased by 0.1%. This reflects a decline of 1.5% for the first half and an increase of 2.7% for the 4 months to October.

For our Regionals division advertising revenues remained flat for the 10 months to October which compares to a decline of 1.0% for the first half. For our Nationals division advertising revenues increased by 0.9% for the 10 months to October which compares to a decline of 2.3% for the first half.

Group circulation revenues excluding the disposed businesses for the 10 months to October increased by 0.8%. Circulation revenues increased by 0.6% for the Regionals and 0.9% for the Nationals.

The development of our strategic goal, to build a growing multi-platform media business, is progressing via the launch of new products and services, acquisitions and the implementation of improved technology platforms.

The amount, mechanism and timing of a return of surplus capital to shareholders are expected to be announced in December."

The company will next update the market in its pre close trading update statement on 13 December 2007.

The following statement will be provided to shareholders by the Chairman of Trinity Mirror plc, Sir Ian Gibson, at today's Annual General Meeting:

"As we indicated at the Group's preliminary results announcement on 1 March, although the advertising environment remains challenging and volatile from month to month, we continue to expect advertising market conditions to stabilise during the year with the rate of decline slowing. The Board continues to have confidence that our 2007 performance will be in line with expectations.

"Group advertising revenue for the first four months fell by 2.4%. Excluding the acquired digital businesses, Group advertising revenues for the first four months fell by 3.0%.

"For our Regionals division advertising revenues decreased by 2.3%. By category display fell by 1.2%, recruitment fell by 3.0%, motors fell by 11.4%, property increased by 4.1% and other categories fell by 4.3%. Excluding the acquired digital businesses, the Regionals division advertising revenues for the first four months fell by 3.3%.

"Advertising revenues for our Nationals division fell by 4.0%.The Scottish Nationals achieved a strong advertising revenue performance with growth of 0.9% with the UK Nationals advertising revenues falling by 5.8%.

"For the Sports division advertising revenues increased by 17.7% reflecting significantly weaker comparatives partially due to a competitive launch which has since ceased publication.

"Digital revenues for our Regionals division, including organic and acquired businesses, achieved strong underlying growth of 24.8%. Our Nationals division also achieved strong growth of 30.7% for the period.

"Group circulation revenues for the first four months fell by 0.5%. Circulation revenues for our Scottish Nationals and our Sports division increased by 0.3%, and for the Regionals and UK Nationals they fell by 0.8% and 0.7% respectively.

"We continue to make encouraging progress on the disposal of our Regional businesses in the Midlands and London and the South East, and the Sports division and expect to complete these transactions as planned during the second and third quarters."

Highlights

  • Trinity Mirror plc to focus on National newspaper titles and key Regional titles in Scotland, the North of England and Wales and UK digital assets
  • Sports division, including Racing Post, and regional titles in the Midlands and London and the South East to be sold
  • Adoption of new technology led operating model across Group to accelerate growth and reduce costs
  • Programme will deliver additional annualised cost savings of £20 million by 2008
  • The Board intends to at least maintain the current level of annual dividend per share

The Board intends to return to shareholders surplus capital arising from the disposals, net of related tax charges and such pension payments as are necessary

Commenting on the results of the comprehensive Business Review Sly Bailey, Group Chief Executive, said: "It has taken a great deal of hard work by everyone involved but I am very pleased we can now present a strategic plan for Trinity Mirror that, once delivered, will make us one of the most efficient and modern media groups in Europe.

"The proposed disposals will enable us to concentrate on the heart of the group and adopt a new, technology-led operating model that will ensure we serve our advertisers and readers better from a significantly lower cost base. The new integrated model will allow Trinity Mirror plc to develop as a multi-platform media business and capitalise on the enormous strengths we have in our core markets. Now this review has been completed we can move forward swiftly and turn our vision into a reality."

Introduction
The Board of Trinity Mirror plc (the "Board") today announces the outcome of the review of the Group's businesses which was announced on 3 August 2006.

Background to the Business Review
Since 2003 the Trinity Mirror plc has significantly improved the underlying performance of its portfolio of businesses. The Group has been strengthened through a combination of investment, new launches and selected acquisitions and divestments. These include continuing investment in IT systems and printing presses, the acquisition of five digital businesses and the launch of more than 300 products and services. Non-core assets, including the Irish regional newspapers and the Magazines and Exhibitions division, have been divested. In addition, performance has been improved by a reduction in operating costs of over £60 million per annum and new digital revenues (including revenues from acquisitions) of around £30 million across the Group.

As the next logical step to maximise value the Board, in August, initiated an in-depth review of the Group's businesses, operating models and structure. The Review had two key objectives. Firstly, to determine the best way of maximising value from the Group's existing asset base. Secondly, to ensure the Group is properly positioned to capture the opportunities available to it in a rapidly changing media environment.

The Review has taken into account the current advertising market conditions impacting its Nationals and Regionals businesses, the synergies existing between different parts of the Group as well as the considerable opportunities available to the Group through the development of its digital activities.

In the course of this comprehensive Review several third parties have expressed an interest in acquiring a number of the Group's assets. These unsolicited approaches have naturally been fully considered as part of the Review. The approaches included a conditional indicative offer for the Nationals businesses which the Board concluded substantially undervalued these assets.

In addition, the Review, led by the Chief Executive, examined a full range of alternative structures for the Group including the separation of the Regionals and Nationals businesses by way of full demerger. Having thoroughly considered the implications the Board has concluded that a separation through de-merger would adversely impact shareholder value.

The Review demonstrated that there is considerable additional value that can be delivered to shareholders through a new, technology-enabled operating model that will generate benefits for advertisers and readers alike. These changes will enable the Group to make a number of cost savings and also offer opportunities to generate additional revenue as well as provide a stronger platform for investment and long-term growth.

Conclusions of Business Review
Group Structure
The Board sees the future of the Group as a multi-platform publishing and advertising business based on a combination of market leading newspaper titles and digital assets offering best-in-class margin potential and significant growth potential once advertising market conditions improve.

The Review led the Board to conclude that in order to maximise shareholder value for the medium to long term it should rationalise its portfolio of titles. The Review identified that the Group's Regional businesses in Scotland, the North of England, and Wales, complemented by its strong UK wide digital assets and supported by the strong cash flows of the Nationals, represent the best opportunities for growth.

Our newspaper titles in these regions enjoy leading positions in each of their well-defined and concentrated geographic markets. The complementary local digital businesses and the acquired digital assets provide the platform for strong growth opportunities and increasing shareholder value.

The Board believes that, whilst valuable assets, the Group's Regional businesses in the Midlands and London and the South East, do not offer the same opportunities for the Group and are likely to be more attractive to other owners. The Board has, therefore, concluded that it should seek to dispose of the Regional businesses in the Midlands and London and the South East.

Our National titles, with industry leading margins, generate strong, sustainable and robust cash flows which underpin the financial strength of the Group to enable it invest in and grow the business.

The Review also concluded that the Sports division, principally the Racing Post, has minimal overlap in terms of readership, advertising base or editorial content with the Group's other titles and operates as a standalone business within the Group. The Board therefore believes that the growth opportunities available to this specialist publishing business would be better served under different ownership. It is the intention of the Board that, as part of any divestment, the Racing Post brand is protected and strengthened.

These disposals will result in a Group with increased focus on a streamlined portfolio of high quality media assets, offering growth in revenues, margins and earnings. Strong cash flow generation will support this growth through continued investment and selected acquisitions and will provide continuing rewards to shareholders. The disposals do not affect any of the Group's Manufacturing network.

The Board has appointed Rothschild to advise it on the various disposal processes which are expected to be completed during the second and third quarters of 2007, subject to it receiving full and attractive offers for each of the businesses to be sold.

Operating model
The Review looked at all elements of our portfolio across print and on-line, our organisational structure and the efficiency and effectiveness of our resources to drive revenues, manage cost and build profit.

We have identified a number of areas to improve the performance of our businesses significantly by further investment in technology. This investment will modernise and streamline our processes, drive revenues across print and on-line and allow us to serve our readers better and advertisers more effectively.

By integrating our print and on-line operations more closely we will be able to remove many of the existing barriers to cross selling opportunities and serve our markets at lower cost whilst sustaining attractive margins. The investment in IT systems will transform the way we do business by significantly reducing low value-added administrative tasks thereby freeing up resource to concentrate on revenue generation.

We intend to carry out a fundamental upgrade of editorial systems; to restructure our circulation sales support functions and outsource a number of them where practicable; and to streamline our advertising and pre-press functions using state-of-the-art technology so they will utilise online and call-centre sales channels with significant benefits for all.

  • Specifically, the investment in new technologies will enable our regional businesses to:-
  • Drive revenues by increasing our advertisers' reach through access to our powerful multi-media platforms.
  • Automate the creation of many types of advertising in ways that significantly reduces paper processing and cost
  • Create call-centres with better capacity utilisation and better conversion rates
  • Modernise newspaper sales by creating a unified transport and logistics operation and outsource low value-added administration
  • Streamline our editorial processes to allow more extensive and efficient multimedia publishing

Developing these capabilities will support our overall strategy of deepening our penetration of our geographies and markets.

In our Nationals business, system enhancements in advertising and editorial will result in efficiencies and streamlined processes. Work is already underway to de-layer management and outsource circulation sales supporting activities in Scotland. We aim to build on the total reach and relevance of our Nationals titles with on-line development being an integral part of our strategy. Our UK Nationals on-line digital presence will see new look sites designed to fully play to the strengths of the web, focusing on the key content strands of News, Sport and Showbiz. The sites will be easier to navigate featuring a substantial increase in audio visual and user generated content. Our objective is to increase substantially unique users and online revenues during 2007.

Business Review - financial impact
The businesses to be sold, namely Sports and the regional titles in the Midlands, London and the South East, in aggregate reported sales and EBIT of £132 million and £27 million respectively in the 26 weeks to 2nd July 2006. It is the Board's intention to return to shareholders surplus capital arising from the disposals, net of related tax charges and such pension payments as are necessary. Further guidance will be provided once the disposals have been completed.

The Board is confident that in the medium-term, the streamlined Regionals division will have the capacity to generate margins amongst those of the best-in-class operators in the UK regional newspaper publishing sector. Post 2007, having completed the investment in colour presses, the Nationals division will require minimal capital expenditure requirements over the medium to long term, thereby providing ongoing strong cash flow generation for investment and growth across the Group.

The investment programme required to support the introduction of the new operating model across the Group will be delivered over the next three years. The associated capital costs will be absorbed within the current £180 million capital expenditure programme announced in July 2005. Total Group capital expenditure projections beyond 2007 at around £25-30 million per annum are therefore also unchanged. In addition to capital expenditure it is expected that further non-recurring costs of £10m per annum will be incurred during 2007 and 2008.

This programme will deliver a further £20 million of annualised cost savings by 2008 with incremental revenue benefits expected from 2009.

Upon completion of the proposed divestments the Board is committed to ensuring an efficient capital structure and an appropriate dividend policy. In view of its confidence in the future performance of the Group, the Board intends to at least maintain the current level of annual dividend per share

 

26-week period ending 2nd July 2006

Trinity Mirror plc is today issuing a trading update ahead of its close period. The company will announce its interim results on 3rd August 2006.

On a like-for-like basis, excluding acquisitions completed in 2005 and 2006, Group advertising revenues for the 26-week period are expected to fall by 10.6% year-on-year. Including acquisitions Group advertising revenues for the period are expected to fall by 8.4%.

Like-for-like advertising revenues for the Regionals division are expected to fall by 9.7% for the period. With the exception of property advertising, which is expected to increase by 1.9% for the period, all advertising categories are expected to decline with falls of 6.7% for display, 21.0% for recruitment, 12.9% for motors and 3.0% for other classified categories.

Advertising revenues for the Nationals division are expected to fall by 12.1% for the period reflecting a 12.7% decline in the UK National titles and a 10.5% decline for the Scottish National titles.

Advertising revenues for the Sports division are expected to fall by 16.0% year-on-year and the Magazines and Exhibitions advertising revenues are expected to fall by 12.3%.

Group circulation revenues for the 26-week period are expected to fall by 1.0% year-on-year reflecting the impact of reduced volumes and vouchering activity on the Scottish Nationals partially offset by cover price increases. Expected circulation revenue declines of 1.4% for the Nationals, 3.1% for Sports and 1.1% for Magazines and Exhibitions have been partially offset by an expected increase of 1.4% for the Regionals division.

As highlighted at the AGM, the advertising environment remains weak and management continue to run the business on the assumption that this will continue for the remainder of the year.

Trinity Mirror plc is today issuing its regular trading update, ahead of its close period. The Company will announce its preliminary results for the 52 weeks ending 1 January 2006 on 2 March 2006.

Advertising revenues
In a difficult advertising environment, Group advertising revenues for the 5 months to November 2005 excluding acquisitions fell by 7.9% year-on-year. Group advertising revenues for the 11 months to November 2005 fell by 3.8%.

Advertising revenues for the Regionals division fell by 4.9% year-on-year for the five months to November 2005. Recruitment advertising was particularly weak given the slowing economy and increasing unemployment, with revenues falling by 20.5% year-on-year. However, we saw continued growth in property advertising which was up by 6.4% year-on-year. The period also benefited from strong advertising revenues resulting from the changes in the alcohol licensing laws.

Advertising revenues for the Nationals division fell by 14.4% for the five months to November 2005, with a 15.9% decline in the UK National titles and a 10.1% decline in the Scottish National titles.

Advertising revenues for the Sports division and the Magazines and Exhibitions division fell by 11.2% and 9.1% respectively for the 5 months to November 2005, reflecting slowing consumer spending.

Circulation revenues
Group circulation revenue increased by 1.4% during the period under review. Group circulation revenues for the 11 months to November 2005 increased by 2.4%. Circulation revenue growth for the five months to November 2005 of 3.1% for the Regional newspaper titles, 4.1% for Scottish Nationals and 4.9% for the Sports titles has been partially offset by declines of 0.3% for the UK Nationals and 4.8% for Magazines. The circulation revenue performance reflects the benefit of increased cover prices.

Acquisitions
The acquisitions completed during 2005 are performing in line with our expectations.

Outlook
Although the Group has experienced a difficult advertising trading environment over the second half, the benefit of management initiatives to mitigate the impact on profits gives the Board confidence in an outturn for the year in line with expectations.

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 that the advertising environment will continue to be challenging and is therefore taking action now on the cost base which will deliver further cost savings of up to £15 million in 2006. These savings are expected to partially mitigate the uncertain revenue outlook and cost increases anticipated in 2006. Exceptional costs of approximately £12 million associated with these savings will be reported in 2005.

26 week period ending 3rd July 2005

Trinity Mirror plc is today issuing a trading update for the 26 weeks ending 3rd July 2005 - ahead of entering its close period. The company will announce its interim results on 28th July.

Advertising
Since our AGM statement on 5th May, the advertising market has remained challenging. Group advertising revenues for the 26 week period are expected to fall by 0.4% year on year.
The Regionals division is expected to achieve advertising revenue growth of 1.4% year on year for the period. Growth in display, other classified categories and particularly in property has been partially offset by declines in recruitment and motors.

Advertising revenues for the Nationals division are expected to fall by 5.3% year on year reflecting a 7.0% decline in the UK National titles and a 0.3% decline in the Scottish National titles. The National newspapers continue to hold volume market share of advertising.

The Sports division is expected to achieve advertising revenue growth of 14.5% year on year and the Magazines and Exhibitions advertising revenues are expected to increase marginally by 0.5%.

Circulation
Group circulation revenues for the 26 week period are expected to increase by 3.1% year on year. All newspaper divisions are expected to achieve growth in circulation revenues with expected increases of 5.2% for Regional newspapers, 1.9% for National newspapers and 9.6% for Sports newspapers. Magazines and Exhibitions circulation revenues are expected to be 1.1% lower.

Outlook
In an uncertain economic climate the Board's strategy "Stabilise Revitalise Grow" continues to drive improvements in performance. Whilst we anticipate the advertising market will remain extremely challenging the Board expects a satisfactory outcome for the year.

53 week period ending 2nd January 2005

Trinity Mirror plc is today issuing a trading update, ahead of the close period, which is in line with expectations.

The Company will announce its preliminary results for the 53 weeks ending 2nd January 2005 on 3rd March 2005.

Advertising revenues
Group advertising revenues for the 5 months to November 2004, on a like for like basis excluding the regional titles in Ireland disposed in January 2004, have increased by 4.2% year on year.

The Regionals division achieved advertising revenue growth of 4.5% year on year for the period. With the exception of motors, all categories achieved year on year growth with particularly strong growth in property.

The Nationals division achieved advertising revenue growth of 2.8% year on year reflecting a 1.6% increase in the UK National titles and a 6.1% increase for the Scottish National titles.
The Sports division and the Magazines and Exhibitions division achieved advertising revenue growth of 14.5% and 2.8% respectively.

Circulation revenues
Group circulation revenues for the 5 months to November 2004 on a like for like basis excluding the regional titles in Ireland disposed in January 2004, have increased by 3.3% year on year.

All newspaper divisions continued to achieve strong circulation revenue performance with increases of 4.4% for Regional titles, 3.3% for UK National titles, 0.8% for Scottish National titles and 5.8% for Sports newspapers. Magazines and Exhibitions revenue was down 1.0%.

The strong circulation revenue performance reflects the benefit of increased cover prices partially offset by circulation declines.

26 week period ending 27th June 2004

Trinity Mirror plc is today issuing a trading update ahead of meetings with analysts. The company will announce its interim results on 29th July.

Advertising
Group advertising revenues for the 26 week period, on a like for like basis excluding the regional titles in Ireland disposed in January 2004, are expected to increase by 5.1% year on year.

The Regionals division is expected to achieve advertising revenue growth of 6.0% year on year for the period. Advertising revenues for the Regional newspaper titles (excluding Digital Media) are expected to increase by 5.5%. All categories have shown good growth with particularly strong performance from recruitment.

The Nationals division is expected to achieve advertising revenue growth of 2.7% year on year reflecting a 2.6% increase in the UK National titles and a 3.0% increase for the Scottish National titles.

The Sports division and the Magazines and Exhibitions division are expected to achieve advertising revenue growth of 19.0% and 3.1% respectively.

Circulation
Group circulation revenues for the 26 week period, on a like for like basis excluding the regional titles in Ireland disposed in January 2004, are expected to increase by 6.2% year on year. All divisions are expected to achieve growth in circulation revenues with expected increases of 3.9% for Regional newspapers, 6.6% for the National newspapers, 9.2% for Sports newspapers and 7.8% for Magazines and exhibitions. Whilst circulation revenues have increased, circulation volumes during May for the Daily Mirror have been disappointing.

The expected increases reflect the benefit of increased cover prices partially offset by circulation declines.

The Board remains confident of the outcome for the year.

52 week period ending 28 December 2003

Trinity Mirror plc is today issuing a trading update in respect of the second half of the 52 week financial period ending 28th December 2003. This statement is being issued ahead of the Company's preliminary results on 26th February 2004.

Overall the Group continues to trade in line with the Board's expectations for the year with improved advertising revenues for our Regionals division offsetting a weaker advertising performance from our Nationals division in the second half.

Advertising revenues
Whilst advertising conditions for our Regional newspaper titles have shown signs of stabilisation during the past five months, conditions for our National titles continue to be difficult and volatile. Group advertising revenues for the 5 months to November 2003 increased by 1.0% year on year.

The Regionals division (incorporating Digital Media and Metros) achieved advertising revenue growth of 3.9% year on year for the period. Excluding Digital Media and Metros, advertising revenues for the Regional newspaper titles increased by 3.0% year on year. This was despite advertising revenue falling by 0.7 % year on year in the same period for our Regional newspaper titles in London and the South East. Our Regional Newspaper titles excluding Metro's and our titles in London and South East increased advertising revenues by 4.3%.

For our Regional newspaper titles all categories achieved year on year growth with the exception of Motors which declined by 2.2% for the period. Recruitment revenues increased by 1.4% year on year for the period representing an increase of 5.5% for our regional newspaper titles outside London and the South East which was offset by an 11.3% fall in London and the South East. Whilst the South continues to experience year on year declines in recruitment advertising, an improving trend has emerged in the last three months with year on year declines of 15.6% for September, 8.7% for October and 6.7% for November.

Advertising revenues for the Group's Nationals division fell by 5.7% year on year for the period, with declines of 5.7% and 5.5% for our UK national titles and Scottish national titles respectively.

Circulation
Group circulation revenues for the period July to November 2003 increased by 4.7% year on year for the 5 months to November 2003.

Circulation revenues for the Regional newspaper titles increased by 2.1% year on year for the period, with cover price increases offsetting volume declines.

Circulation revenues for the Nationals division increased by 5.2% year on year for the period. This reflects the benefits of restoring the cover price of the Daily Mirror to 32p outside Scotland partially offset by reduced circulation volumes. Circulation revenues for the UK national titles increased by 6.6% and for the Scottish national titles by 0.1% during the period.

Outlook
Our strategy "Stabilise Revitalise Grow" is on course and the Board is confident that, despite the adverse effects of continued volatility in the advertising market for our National titles, performance for the year will be at least in line with expectations.

  • all advertising and circulation results of the regional newspaper titles are shown on a like for like basis excluding the results of Post Publications Limited and Ethnic Media Group Limited which were disposed of in June 2002, Channel One which was closed down in November 2002 and Wheatley Dyson which was sold in February 2003.