StockMarketWire.com - Daily Mirror and Express newspaper publisher Reach said its performance for 2018 would be 'marginally' ahead of market expectations.

Revenue in the fourth quarter rose 23%, reflecting the acquisition of Express & Star.

On a like-for-like basis, revenue in the fourth quarter was expected to fall 5%, which the company said was an improvement on the third quarter.

Circulation revenue and publishing print advertising revenue were expected to fall by 4% and 15%, respectively, on a like-for-like basis.

Publishing digital revenue was expected to grow by 5% with display and transactional revenue growing by 8%, also on a like-for-like basis.

The integration of Express & Star was progressing well, Reach said.

The company said it now expected to deliver £3m of synergy savings in 2018, ahead of the £2m forecast in October, with the company on track to deliver at least £20m per annum by 2020.

Reach also said that it had sold two vacant properties in Liverpool and Cardiff, generating net proceeds of £5m. Thes proceeds would, in part, enable net debt to fall to around £55m by the year end, down from £81m at the half year.

'I am pleased with the improved trading in the final quarter,' chief executive Simon Fox said.

'This coupled with continued tight management of the business provides me with confidence that performance for the year is expected to be marginally ahead of expectations.'

'We head into 2019 having made good progress with the integration of Express & Star and with clear plans in place for driving digital growth in the year ahead.'

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