Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror - parent of The Birmingham Post – has posted first half results in line with expectations.
Sales for the six months to June 29 fell eight per cent to £460.8 million, while operating profits declined from £95.6 million to £80.5 million.
The company said advertising sales, which account for half its total revenue, had fallen a further 15 per cent in July, after a six per cent decline in the first half.
However, Trinity said it would cut more costs to combat the decline.
Chief executive Sly Bailey told shareholders in a stock market statement: “The numerous actions we took during the period to reduce our costs and improve our efficiency, product portfolio and balance sheet have served to partially off-set the impact of the serious downturn in advertising expenditure being experienced by consumer facing media businesses.
“We have implemented a further efficiency programme which will deliver at least an additional £20 million of savings in 2009 by accelerating technological improvements to processes across editorial, advertising and pre-press.
“We believe that these initiatives alongside good portfolio management and our continued investment to build our digital revenues will see the group through this economic downturn and best position the business for growth when market conditions improve.”
She added: “The outlook for the UK economy continues to remain uncertain with the ongoing adverse implications of inflationary cost pressures, in particular energy and essential food items, and the wider implications of the credit crunch. “Given this uncertain economic outlook for the UK we remain cautious about trading prospects.
“The challenging advertising environment has continued in July with advertising revenue falling by around 15 per cent year on year.
Management continues to manage the cost base tightly and will continue to seek opportunities for further efficiencies in operations. At this stage the board anticipates performance for the year to be in line with expectations following the trading update issued on 30 June 2008.”
The group declared an interim dividend payment of 3.2p per share, down from the 6.4 pence paid a year ago.