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Phone-hacking costs rise for Daily Mirror owner


The publisher of the Daily Mirror newspaper has set aside another £7.5m to settle phone-hacking claims.

Reach, formerly known as Trinity Mirror, also said it expects revenue to rise 11% in the 26 weeks to 1 July, boosted by its £127m acquisition of the Daily Express and Daily Star from Northern & Shell.

“Whilst we continue to make progress on settling civil claims in relation to phone hacking, the costs associated with settling these claims, predominantly the legal fees of the claimants’ lawyers, are expected to be higher than previously estimated,” the group said.
“Therefore, we have increased the provision for settling these historical claims by £7.5m.
“Although there remains uncertainty as to how these matters will progress, the board remains confident that the exposures arising from these historical events are manageable and do not undermine the delivery of the group’s strategy.”
The company also warned like-for-like revenue over the period excluding the Express and Star is set to fall by 8%.
Publishing revenue is tipped to be down 8%, with print falling by 10% and digital increasing by 1%. Classified advertising is expected to fall by 19%.

Chief executive Simon Fox said: “We have seen some improvement in May and June, driven by stronger national print advertising.
“Following the welcome clearance by the Secretary of State, we will start the process of integrating Express and Star in order to accelerate the benefits that our combined scale will deliver.”
Earlier this month, the Express takeover was cleared by the Government after Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said he will not be referring the £126.7m deal for a full investigation.

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Reach owns more than 240 regional papers, including the Manchester Evening News, the Bristol Post and the Daily Record.
Its acquisition gives the company control of four national newspaper titles also including the Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday, plus celebrity magazines OK!, New! and Star.

Source: Sky

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