StockMarketWire.com - Daily Mirror and Daily Express newspaper publisher Reach has reported a fall of 13.1% in group revenue and a 15.8% decline in print revenue for the four-month period from 30 December 2019 to 26 April 2020, and confirmed it has agreed a three-month deferral of monthly pension contributions.

It warned that circulation remains significantly below pre-Covid-19 levels and that advertising remains 'very challenging and uncertain', with regional advertising particularly impacted.

The company saw digital revenue grow by 4.7% during the four-month period but said that, since mid-March, it has seen declines in circulation sales, falls in print advertising revenue at a national and local level, reduced printing requirements from third parties, impacts from cancelled events and a reduction in digital yields due to lower advertising demand.

Reach said that since a number of cost reduction measures announced on 6 April it has announced additional measures including pay reductions, suspensions of all 2020 bonus schemes and furloughing of a number of colleagues, as well as the cancellation of the 2019 final dividend.

It said a three-month deferral of monthly contributions has now been agreed following discussions with pension funds.

Reach recorded 42 million online users in the UK in March and in April saw total page views of 1.7 billion, up 57%, while average daily app users rose by 47% to 674,000, and its hyperlocal news platform InYourArea surpassed 650,000 registered users.

Chief executive Jim Mullen said: 'We continue to build on our position as the UK's largest commercial national and regional news publisher.

'Our strategy is now even more relevant than before the crisis so we are accelerating plans to drive digital engagement and capture the customer insight and data that is so key. This will ensure a strong and sustainable future for Reach's trusted news brands.'

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