Trinity Mirror upgrades 2013 profit forecast

Digital revenue up 32%, but publisher signals impairment charges

British newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror has upgraded its 2013 profit estimates after securing better-than-expected revenues in November and December. But it has also announced that it will take some hefty impairment charges.

The company said it expected adjusted operating profit for 2013 to be ahead of market forecasts by 4 per cent, with adjusted earnings per share 5 per cent ahead of estimates, after the final two months of the year saw strong growth for digital revenue, among other activities.

However, following an annual review, it expects a non-cash impairment charge of £225 million in respect of the group’s goodwill and intangible assets.

The company, which is headed by former HMV chief executive Simon Fox, also expects a separate non-cash impairment charge in the company balance sheet of around £700 million relating to investments in subsidiaries.


Mr Fox said the impairments had no bearing on the progress the company was making. “I continue to believe that the business has significant long term potential,” he said.

The company said 2014 had started in line with its expectations, with total revenue in January falling 4 per cent, but that digital revenue for its publishing division has increased 32 per cent year-on-year. Higher newsprint prices will be offset by “further structural cost savings” and ongoing cost control, it added.

The Irish Daily Mirror and Irish Sunday Mirror titles, which are overseen by editor-in-chief John Kierans, have a total print circulation of around 102,000-103,000 between Northern Ireland and the Republic, with offices in both Belfast and Dublin. The Irish division last year received what Mr Kierans has described as a "substantial investment" from the parent company to launch and a tablet edition.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics