July 30, 2018 / 7:02 AM / 5 months ago

Daily Mirror publisher Reach slumps to 113.5 million pounds first-half loss

LONDON (Reuters) - Reach (RCH.L), publisher of the Daily Mirror, slumped to a statutory first-half pretax loss of 113.5 million pounds ($148.8 million) after taking a 150 million pounds charge on a tougher-than-expected outlook for its regional businesses.

The firm, previously called Trinity Mirror, said on Monday group revenue for the 26 weeks to July 1 increased 10.6 percent to 353.8 million pounds, reflecting the acquisition of the Express & Star business in February.

That 127 million pounds purchase added the daily and Sunday editions of the Express and Star tabloids to Reach’s stable of over 260 national and regional titles, including the Daily Record, the Manchester Evening News and the Liverpool Echo.

Reach had made a statutory pretax profit of 38.2 million pounds in the same period last year.

This year’s first-half profit on an underlying basis rose 5.5 percent to 64.7 million pounds.

Reach said it anticipated trading for the year would be in line with market expectations.

“We have delivered a positive financial performance in what remains a difficult trading environment for the industry, in particular the regional businesses,” said Chief Executive Simon Fox.

He said the benefit of an improved performance from national print advertising coupled with further cost savings would support profits over the year despite a further increase in newsprint prices for the second half.

Shares in Reach, down 29 percent over the last year, closed Friday at 72.8 pence, valuing the business at 218 million pounds.

Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle

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