Profits at British newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror edged up last year after a swing in its digital performance.
Chief executive Simon Fox said the company's "rapidly growing" digital audience and tight cost management helped it finish the year ahead of expectations, with adjusted profits up by 2.6 per cent at £101.3 million.
It bounced back from a 10 per cent decline in digital revenues at its publishing arm during the first half of the year, with growth of 16.8 per cent in the second half.
"Strong print and digital revenue trends at the end of 2013 enabled us to finish the year ahead of expectations," said Mr Fox, who is the former chief executive of HMV.
Trinity’s group revenues fell 6 per cent to £663.8 million for the full year, but the rate of decline moderated over the course of the year.
The group, which employs about 5,000 people, publishes five national titles in the UK and about 130 regional daily and weekly newspapers, including the Daily Mirror , the Daily Record , the Liverpool Echo , the Manchester Evening News and the Western Mail . Circulation revenues in its publishing arm slipped 3.8 per cent.
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 Trinity Mirror to launch IrishMirror.ie and a tablet edition, as part of the group’s digital push.
(Additional reporting: PA)