Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror - owner of The Birmingham Post - yesterday announced lower profits and said it had begun a review of its businesses in light of "increasing challenges" in its industry.
The publisher of around 250 regional and national titles said it would look at "our businesses, operating models and structure" as part of a review due to be completed by the end of the year.
The move came as Trinity Mirror said the challenging advertising environment caused revenues in the six months to July 2 to fall by 2.2 per cent to £566.6 million and pre-tax profits by 12.8 per cent to £98.1 million.
The group added that its performance for the financial year should be in line with expectations, despite the continuation of difficult market conditions.
Trinity Mirror offset some of the sales pressure through cost savings of £9 million, while it said its "Stabilise Revitalise Grow" strategy of the past three years made the company more resilient in the downturn after operating profits rose 30 per cent between 2002 and 2005.
The company added: "Looking forward it is clear that continued change in the media market will create increasing challenges for the group in continuing to build on this progress.
"The board has therefore initiated a review of our businesses, operating models and structure in order to determine the best way of taking the group forward." The group said its regionals division faced an increasingly difficult environment with all categories except property s eeing year-on-year declines.
Profits for the division fell by 15.5 per cent to £66.6 million, although revenues were up 1.5 per cent to £281.4 million because of the impact of acquisitions in digital media, such as the addition of Smartnewhomes last year.
Regional circulation revenues increased 1.4 per cent as the division focused on selling "full-price, value-for-money newspapers" and to increase cover prices on a "little and often" basis.
The period saw volume declines of 7.8 per cent for evening titles, 6.4 per cent for mornings and 4.8 percent for publications.
On a statutory basis, Trinity Mirror took a oneoff accounting charge of £250 million to reflect the r educed value of its regional titles. That resulted in bottomline losses of £179.6 million for the year.