Daily Mirror owner presses ahead with Express takeover as revenues fall

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The publisher of the Daily Mirror newspaper has said that it is making "good progress" in its efforts to acquire the Express titles from Northern & Shell, while reporting a slump in revenues.

Trinity Mirror announced earlier this year that it had ceased discussions to acquire a minority stake and is instead in talks to buy 100% of Northern & Shell's publishing assets, which also include the Daily Star.

"We continue to make good progress with the proposed acquisition of 100% of the publishing assets of Northern & Shell. Further updates will be provided as and when appropriate," Trinity said.

Northern & Shell is owned by Richard Desmond, who acquired the Express titles in 2000 for £125 million, although it is unclear how much a deal would be worth today.

The print media industry is grappling with a decline in print advertising and any combination could herald cost savings and a shared cut of a larger advertising pool.

Trinity made the announcement alongside a fourth quarter trading update, in which it said like-for-like revenue is expected to fall by 9%.

Despite improving trends in digital publishing revenues, which are expected to grow by 20% in the period, this was offset by declines in print advertising and circulation revenue of 21% and 7% respectively.

The group added that classified publishing digital revenue remains "under pressure" and will mean a reduction in expected publishing digital revenue growth for the quarter to 10%.

Nevertheless, the board expects performance for the full year to be in line with expectations