StockMarketWire.com - Newspaper publisher Reach reported a steep fall in annual profit as print sales continued to slump amid the pandemic, though it reinstated its dividend citing its growth prospects.

Pre-tax profit for the year to 27 December plunged to £0.4 million, down from £120.9 million year-on-year.

The publisher of the Daily Mirror and Daily Express said its revenue had slipped 15% to £600.2 million, with an 11% rise in digital sales more than offset by a 19% slump in print.

Reach declared a final dividend of 4.26p per share, up from the 2.5p declared for 2019.

Adjusted operating profit fell 13% to £133.8 million. Reach said cost cutting and a higher digital mix supported a 50-basis-point increase in its adjusted operating profit margin to 22.3%.

'Reach has become a stronger business in 2020 thanks to the ongoing hard work and commitment of our people during this unprecedented year,' chief executive Jim Mullen said.

'A radical reorganisation of our business model not only makes us more efficient, it also enables our changing culture, which is evolving to support a growth led agenda.'

'Resilience in print circulation is the foundation for the strong cash generation which underpins strategic investment, our pension commitments and growing returns to shareholders.'

'While macro-economic uncertainty resulting from Coid-19 clearly remains, the group is well placed to make good progress during 2021 and to generate increased long term value as the strategy gathers momentum.'




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