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TOP NEWS: Reach shares plunge as fourth quarter revenue drops

11th Jan 2023 09:59

(Alliance News) - Reach PLC on Wednesday said it will move to cut costs as the newspaper publisher continues to grapple with tumbling advertising revenue.

Reach shares fell 25% to 82.14 pence each in London on Wednesday morning.

Revenue in the fourth quarter to December 25 dropped 4.2% year-on-year. Annual revenue was 2.3% lower.

During the final quarter, the London-based firm's advertising revenue alone dropped 20%. It slumped 16% for the whole of the financial year.

Digital revenue fell by 5.9% in the fourth quarter, but rose 1.0% over the financial year. Print revenue dropped by 3.6% in the fourth quarter and 3.5% in the financial year.

While circulation revenue increased by 1.8% in the fourth quarter, though decreased by 1.7% over financial 2022.

Looking ahead, Chief Executive Officer Jim Mullen said: "We expect current market headwinds will continue during 2023 and have therefore taken decisive action, putting in place a further cost reduction plan. This will ensure we retain our strong foundations and are able to continue investing in our digital growth priorities, which position us to benefit strongly when the economic environment improves."

The company added: "During 2023 we are currently targeting further savings of at least GBP30 million to help mitigate the impact of macro pressures and support our investment in transitioning to a more digitally-led and profitable future for all stakeholders."

Meanwhile, the company announced February 1 as the start date for its new Chief Financial Officer Darren Fisher. His appointment was originally announced in October. Fisher will join from television network ITV where he was director of finance. He is also the CFO for ITV's Media & Entertainment division since 2020.

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News reporter

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