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Gloucestershire Business News

Publisher of Gloucester Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo sees revenues fall by £20million

The publisher of the Gloucester Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo newspapers have seen revenues fall by more than £20 million in the past year.

Reach PLC, who also run the GloucestershireLive website, saw revenues fall by three per cent in 2019, from £723.9million to £702.5million.

Revenues were boosted by it being the first full-year of trading since the group, which publishes the Daily Mirror, acquired both the Daily Express and Daily Star titles.

In a statement issued to the Stock Exchange Reach PLC said that "significant cost efficiencies delivered during the year included structural costs savings of £12million and incremental acquisition synergies of £16million."

That meant the group recorded a rise in adjusted profits before tax of £6.1million, rising from £141.9million to £150.6 million.

Reach CEO Jim Mullen said: "I was delighted to join Reach in August 2019 and have been impressed by the relentless focus on producing award-winning journalism and content that shapes national and regional conversations.

"These are strong foundations on which to invest and innovate to ensure a sustainable future for our trusted brands.

"2019 was a year of good operational and solid financial progress with record growth in audience numbers, consistently good cash generation and a strong balance sheet.

"This, along with unparalleled scale, underpins our drive to build an intelligent, relevant and trusted content business for the long term whilst continuing to deliver for our stakeholders.

Content is at the heart of the new customer value strategy we are announcing today. We have an unmatched reach in UK media and will deepen our relationships via increased customer engagement.

"Through this, we see significant potential to accelerate the diversification of our digital revenue and capture more value to deliver on our sustainable digital growth ambitions."

That plan will see Reach ambitiously target a seven-fold increase in digital subscribers to their digital brands.

The group currently have one million registered users who have subscribed to one of its countless Live-branded websites or national newspaper platforms.

The plan for the next three years 2022 is for that number to rise to seven million as the company is intent on "capturing customer insight and data" in order to build a "relevant content business for the long term."

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