Belfast Telegraph

Daily Mirror owner presses ahead with Express takeover as revenues fall

Trinity Mirror is in talks to buy 100% of Northern & Shell’s publishing assets, which also include the Daily Star.

The publisher of the Daily Mirror newspaper has said that it is making “good progress” in its efforts to acquire the Express titles from Northern & Shell, while reporting a slump in revenues.

Trinity Mirror announced earlier this year that it had ceased discussions to acquire a minority stake and is instead in talks to buy 100% of Northern & Shell’s publishing assets, which also include the Daily Star.

“We continue to make good progress with the proposed acquisition of 100% of the publishing assets of Northern & Shell. Further updates will be provided as and when appropriate,” Trinity said.

Northern & Shell is owned by Richard Desmond, who acquired the Express titles in 2000 for £125 million, although it is unclear how much a deal would be worth today.

The print media industry is grappling with a decline in print advertising and any combination could herald cost savings and a shared cut of a larger advertising pool.

Trinity made the announcement alongside a fourth quarter trading update, in which it said like-for-like revenue is expected to fall by 9%.

Despite improving trends in digital publishing revenues, which are expected to grow by 20% in the period, this was offset by declines in print advertising and circulation revenue of 21% and 7% respectively.

The group added that classified publishing digital revenue remains “under pressure” and will mean a reduction in expected publishing digital revenue growth for the quarter to 10%.

Nevertheless, the board expects performance for the full year to be in line with expectations

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