Reach confirms drop in print sales

The publisher faced a disruptive end of the year after National World cancelled its takeover bid plans

Publisher Reach has reported another drop in print sales over the last three months, against a backdrop of previous price rises and margin cuts.

In the firms latest trading update for the three month period to 25 September 2022, print sales were down 2.9%, while digital revenue remains up 1.1%. Performance was distorted by the passing of HM The Queen which benefitted circulation but significantly reduced advertising due to the blackout during national mourning.

The results went on to state that cost management actions taken during the first half of 2022, including reductions in print pagination and supply, along with the operating model changes, are helping to offset persistent inflationary pressures.

The estimated overall net effect (print and digital) on trading for September was around a 5% reduction in revenue.

Chief executive, Jim Mullen said: “We have made further good strategic progress as we continue to deliver quality content to a growing and increasingly engaged digital audience. I am particularly proud of our teams who worked so tirelessly over recent weeks to produce such comprehensive, respectful, and sensitive coverage of the Queen’s passing, a truly once in a generation event.

“Actions on costs are helping to mitigate inflationary pressures and while macro uncertainty persists, improved revenue trends during quarter three are a positive. The strength of our balance sheet underpins ongoing investment in the strategy, as we continue to transition to an increasing mix of higher quality digital earnings.”

Reach faced a disruptive end of the year after National World cancelled plans to put in a takeover bid. In addition, it also cut margins on the Mirror, Star, Express and People to 18.5%, while putting up its prices.

In response to the latest results, Graham Doubleday, owner of Doubleday Newsagents in Mossley, Ashton-Under-Lyne, said: “They put their prices up faster than traffic lights change, not to mention cutting our terms. Their lost readers are sick of paying over the odds for their products and have voted with their wallets.

“They should bring their prices down to get their readers back, which should get their advertising back.”

Read more news and advice about the newspaper and magazines category and click here for the latest ABC circulation figures


This article doesn't have any comments yet, be the first!

Become a member to have your say