Digital growth during pandemic bolsters Reach Plc's 2020 performance, shares soar

(Reuters) - Daily Mirror publisher Reach Plc said on Friday its performance for the current fiscal year was above market expectations, while adding that it had launched consultations on restructuring that would close two of its six printing sites.

Shares in the company were the top gainers on the FTSE all-share index by 0811 GMT with a 9.2% jump.

The London-based company reported a 16.2% jump in digital revenue for five months to Nov. 22, saying it expects the strong digital growth and a resilient circulation to continue into December.

Visitors to Reach’s websites in the UK last month was north of 42 million, which is roughly two-third of the country’s population.

A move to online sources of news has been further stimulated by coronavirus restrictions this year, with curbs on movements making it difficult to circulate newspapers.

Reach announced plans to cut 550 jobs in July, after reporting a near 30% slump in print revenue for the second quarter.

The company said its customer registrations have now surpassed 4.25 million, leaving it on track to meet the 10 million it is targeting by the end of 2022.

Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich