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Trinity Mirror reveals 20% national newspaper ad slump

LONDON - Trinity Mirror's national newspapers saw advertising revenue slump by 20% in November, and the company has warned of similarly poor figures for December.

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In a trading statement, the company revealed that advertising revenues for its UK national newspapers, The Mirror, The Sunday People, The Sunday Mirror and The Racing Post declined by 1.3% for the third quarter of the year. It said that display advertising was badly affected, although classified continued to show year-on-year growth.

In Scotland, the performance was slightly better, with a decline in ad revenues of 13% in October and 17.3% in November. It says it expects December ad revenues for The Daily Record and Sunday Mail, to show a decline in line with October.

The outlook for regional titles was less gloomy, according to the statement, but it warned that the South East had been particularly hard hit by the recruitment ad downturn, leading to a total regional ad revenue decline of 2.9% in November.

Revenues at the its three freesheet Metro titles, published in the Midlands, the North East and Scotland, are estimated to have increased by £2.1m to £4.2m for the six months to December 30.

Trinity Mirror has been one of many newspaper publishers to struggle this year. In July it revealed job cuts totalling 800, after its profits slumped by 6.5% to £121.8m. It also slashed its digital media division, laying off staff running its "ic" network of regional websites.

In the statement, Trinity Mirror says it has cut spend on digital media to an estimated £10m for next year.

When the markets opened this morning, Trinity Mirror saw 15p wiped off its share price, trading down by 3.6% at 407.5p, reflecting a general fall in media stocks after US markets closed down on Friday.

Circulation at The Mirror continues to decline, although the company says that it fell only 2.4% during the six months to November 30, compared to a 3.1% fall for the same period last year.

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