26 week period 3rd January to 2nd July 2000
The following announcement was made to the Stock Exchange today:
Trinity Mirror is today issuing a trading update in respect of the 26 week period to 2nd July 2000, being the first half of the financial year ending 31st December 2000. The group's interim results will be announced on 14th September.
During the first six months of the current financial year all of Trinity Mirror's operations have performed well. In addition, management has continued to make good progress in the integration of the merged businesses.
Circulation revenues from the three national titles, for the six months, have increased by 2.4% in comparison to the same period in 1999. In a very competitive circulation market, both The Mirror and the Sunday Mirror improved their circulation market shares. The national titles also achieved advertising revenue growth of 5.4% overall, with The Mirror and the Sunday Mirror achieving growth of 6.9% and 6.1% respectively and both titles increasing their respective market shares. In the face of sustained competition for circulation, the Scottish national newspapers also grew their market share and remain Scotland's leading daily and Sunday newspapers in terms of sales and readership. Advertising revenues increased for the Scottish national newspapers by 4.8% overall.
The regional newspapers have traded strongly across all regions, with particularly significant improvements in performance from the Midlands and Liverpool. Advertising revenues for the regional newspapers have increased by 7.3% for the six-month period, with an 8.0% improvement in classified advertising, driven by an increase of 21.4% in recruitment advertising. During the first six months of the year circulation revenues from the regional newspapers have remained stable. As a result of entering into the franchise agreement with Associated Newspapers in May 2000, the group's Metro newspapers will benefit from reduced costs and enhanced national advertising revenues.
The group's sports newspapers have seen very strong growth in advertising revenues during the six months to 2nd July 2000 and circulation revenue growth of 5.8%.
The group's new media strategy is progressing satisfactorily. At the end of June, the group's internet service provider, ic24, had over 455,000 subscribers, of which 383,000 were active. Group sites, including sporting-life.com, recorded over 53 million page impressions in June.
Trinity Mirror is also continuing to develop, in conjunction with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, its technology platform that will seamlessly integrate the central and regional portals and enable enhanced functionality and profiling of users.
Given a continuation of the current economic environment a satisfactory outcome for the full year is anticipated.