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Gloucestershire Business News

Citizen and Echo owner reports fall in revenue

The publisher of a number of Gloucestershire newspapers faced a drop in digital revenue after Facebook changed its approach to news on the site.

Reach said the number of views on its articles fell by a fifth (21%) in the nine months to late September largely because of the social media site's "de-prioritisation of news", reported the Independent.

The business said it is still confident about meeting profit expectations, but warned that both digital and print revenues have fallen.

The company publishes the Gloucester Citizen, Gloucestershire Echo and Western Daily Press, as well as the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and a host of other regional titles.

Reach saw digital revenue fall by 13.7% in the three months to late September, while print revenue was down 5.8%. That led to an overall reduction in revenue of 7.8%, the company said.

Despite this the business believes it can deliver the £95 million in adjusted operating profit that analysts think it will make this year.

While overall revenue is falling, Reach said the money it makes from data-driven activities now makes up 42% of digital revenues, up from 24% a year earlier.

This includes adverts that use data gathered when customers create an account, or their behaviour. It also includes affiliates, partnerships and ecommerce revenues.

Chief executive Jim Mullen said: "This quarter we see continued evidence that our data driven strategy is working, supported by our resilient print business.

"Through this challenging period we have remained focused on the controllables.

"We are delivering our customer value strategy and have made progress diversifying our audience.

"We continue to review our cost base so that we can accelerate our digital transformation."

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