* Nearly half its shareholders vote against directors' pay
* Vote comes a week after the company ousted CEO Sly Bailey
* Trading environment expected to remain challenging
* 17-week revenue down 4 pct, ad revenue down 11 pct
* National circulation revenue down in March, April
By Paul Sandle and Adveith Nair
LONDON, May 10 Shareholders in Britain's Trinity
Mirror, publisher of the Daily and Sunday Mirror and the
People, rebelled against executive pay awards with nearly half
voting against its plans.
The vote comes a week after the company said Sly Bailey was
to step down as chief executive, after shareholders took issue
with her large pay package in the midst of falling profits and
On Thursday, the publisher, which also owns a host of
regional titles, said 45.89 percent of its shareholders voted
against its directors' remuneration report in the face of
growing anger over executive pay.
A "shareholder spring" is spreading from Britain across
Europe as investors become increasingly hostile to big rewards
for directors in companies whose shares are flagging.
Bailey received almost 1.8 million pounds ($2.9 million) in
cash and share awards last year, while the company's operating
profit fell 15 percent to 104 million pounds despite cost cuts
that included axing jobs and freezing salaries.
Earlier in the day, the company said it had been hit by the
launch of Rupert Murdoch's Sun on Sunday in February, dragging
circulation revenue at its national titles lower in March and
April, compounding a prolonged slump in advertising.
It added that the trading environment was expected to remain
challenging for the remainder of the year with month on month
volatility in revenue trends.
The revolt at Trinity Mirror comes days after Aviva
chief executive Andrew Moss stepped down in the wake of similar
protests. Swiss bank UBS, Credit Suisse and
Barclays have also seen revolts over executive pay.
Company directors are expected to remain under pressure even
after the market downturn ends with investors and directors
saying the days of shareholders routinely rubber-stamping
company resolutions at annual meetings are gone.
Trinity Mirror said earlier that revenue for the 17 weeks to
April 29 fell 4 percent as ad spending in its titles dropped 11
It said ndications pointed to revenue in May falling 5
percent as spending on advertising shrunk by 10 percent and
circulation revenue dropped 4 percent.
Trinity Mirror, like its rivals, has been battling falling
circulations and ad revenue. It has been turning to the
internet, but growth has not been fast enough to offset the
falling revenue from its newspapers.
Its Sunday titles benefited from the closure of rival Sunday
title News of the World last summer, but that gain evaporated
when Murdoch launched a Sunday edition of his Sun tabloid at the
end of February.
Circulation revenues at its national titles were up 10
percent in January and February, but fell 3 percent in March and
April following the launch of the competing title.
But it said at least 15 million pounds of cost savings would
support profitability, and it would continue to reduce debt
after a 24 million pound payment cut in the period cut the level
to 197 million pounds.