The publisher of the Manchester Evening News has slashed the value of regional titles, which also include the Birmingham Mail and Liverpool Echo as it reported first half losses of £113m this morning.
Reach,formally known as Trinity Mirror, which also owns the Daily Mirror and Express, made a £113.5m pre-tax loss for the 26 weeks to 1 July, compares with a profit of £38.2m for the same period last year.
The company revealed a non-cash ‘goodwill impairment charge’ of £150 million has been made against the carrying value of its regional publishing rights and titles.
It was the first results to be published since the group acquired the Daily Express and Star titles and while revenue rose by 10.6% to £353.8m reflecting the acquisition but fell by 7.2% on a like-for-like basis.
The group said that there was a “more challenging than expected outlook for our regional businesses”.
Chief executive Simon Fox said: “We have delivered a positive financial performance in what remains a difficult trading environment for the industry, in particular the regional businesses. The benefit of improved performance from national print advertising coupled with further cost mitigation will support profits over the year despite a further increase in newsprint prices for the second half.
“We have started the process of integrating Express & Star in order to accelerate the benefits that our combined scale will deliver and have a clear strategy which fully reflects the changing shape of the group.