Gloomy trading updates on local newspapers

20 July 2010

Gloomy trading updates from both Johnston Press and Trinity Mirror, and news that Johnston has abandoned its sale of Irish titles, have choked the optimism that swelled both publishers’ valuations during the bull weeks of early Q2 2009

Some comfort was taken from the nascent ‘advertising stability’ that has left recruitment and property categories down about 50% year on year. However, the potential for spend levels on recruitment and property to stay depressed, even when the economy recovers as the structural shift to online continues, could be devastating to the economics of publishing

Circulation revenues are also appearing vulnerable, as print consumption decline appears to be accelerating, pushing total publisher revenues into a faster downward spiral

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