Strong first year for Sly Bailey as Trinity Mirror boosts profit

Trinity Mirror, the publisher of the Daily Mirror and The People, had a solid first year under the chief executive, Sly Bailey.

The national and regional newspaper publisher posted an 11 per cent rise in full-year pre-tax profits to £172.5 million on the back of stable turnover, up 1.2 per cent to £1.1 billion.

Trinity Mirror's results included £50 million of cost savings, achieved as part of Bailey's "stabilise revitalise grow" strategy.

The newspaper group also announced a 3p rise in the Mirror's cover price to 35p, and the launch of a celebrity-driven magazine called 3am to be distributed free with the Mirror each Wednesday. The company will also create a magazine unit to publish its newspaper supplements.

Regional titles continued to contribute a greater amount of profit than Trinity Mirror's national division. Total national newspaper ad revenue was down 2.1 per cent to £190.1 million, reflecting a fall in ad revenues on its Scottish titles. However, display advertising on its UK nationals was up by 3.4 per cent.

Bailey said: "The changes made this year have delivered a performance ahead of expectations. 2003 represents the best year-on-year profit improvement since the merger in 1999."

- Forum, p8.

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