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UK newspaper owner Reach streamlines as company
struggles with impact of coronavirus

Printed and digital news ©Scanrail - stock.adobe.com
Printed and digital news ©Scanrail - stock.adobe.com
07 Jul 2020 − 

Reach plc, the owner of Daily Mirror and Daily Express, has announced plans to streamline the company after circulation and advertising decreased significantly due to the coronavirus crisis.

Q2 Group revenue to 28 June was down 27.5 per cent compared with the corresponding period last year, Reach announced. Print revenue declined by 29.5 per cent and digital revenue was down by 14.8 per cent. Circulation remains significantly below pre-Covid-19 levels with local advertising continuing to be challenging. Year to date group revenue to 28 June was down 17.5 per cent, benefitting from the good start to the year before Covid-19 began impacting the business in mid-March. June figures are still clearly below last year's level, but suggest the decline has started to decelerate.

The plans announced are targeted to reshape the Reach business into a streamlined, efficient organisation with more focussed editorial, advertising (solutions and local commercial) and central operations. Editorial will move to a more centralised structure bringing together national and regional teams across print and digital to significantly increase efficiency and remove duplication while maintaining the strong editorial identity of our news brands. In local commercial as well as in finance, Reach will move to fewer locations and a simpler management structure, with costs geared to current market conditions.

In total the company plans a reduction in headcount of around 550 people (or 12 per cent of its workforce). Reach will shortly begin a 45-day consultation regarding these plans. The planned changes will deliver £35m in annualised savings at an estimated one-off cost of £20m, expects Reach.

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