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Trinity Mirror group ad revenues down 3%

LONDON - Daily Mirror publisher Trinity Mirror, and a raft of regional press titles, has posted a 3% drop in group advertising revenues for the first four months of this year, excluding revenues from newly acquired digital properties.

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The Daily and Sunday Mirror dropped in revenue by 5.8%, with the publisher's Scottish titles, including the Daily Record, slightly up by 0.9%.

The regional division of the publisher, which produces titles including the Western Mail and the Liverpool Echo, recorded a drop in revenue of 3.3%, excluding new digital acquisitions. The publisher is currently in the process of selling off a number of its regional titles, including the Birmingham Post and the Coventry Evening Telegraph.

For the regional titles, display advertising fell by 1.2%, while recruitment fell by 3.0%, motors fell by 11.4%, property increased by 4.1% and other categories fell by 4.3%. Excluding the acquired digital businesses, the regionals division advertising revenues for the first four months fell by 3.3%.

Digital revenues for in the regionals division, including organic and acquired businesses, achieved underlying growth of 24.8%. The nationals division achieved growth of 30.7% for the period.

Earlier this week, Trinity Mirror acquired two recruitment sites, TotallyLegal.com and TotallyFinancial.com, for a total consideration of £11.8m in cash. The group owns several other online recruitment businesses, including Secsinthecity, GAAPweb, hotonline and Fish4jobs.

For the company's sports division, including the Racing Post, advertising revenues increased by 17.7% reflecting significantly weaker comparatives partially due to a competitive launch, which has since ceased publication.

Several private equity firms, including Exponent and Veronis Suhler Stevenson, are currently bidding for ownership of the racing daily, which is expected to fetch over £200m.

Speaking at the publisher's AGM, Sir Ian Gibson, chairman of Trinity Mirror, said: "We continue to make encouraging progress on the disposal of our regional businesses in the Midlands and London and the South East, and the Sports division and expect to complete these transactions as planned during the second and third quarters."

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