Media group Reach said today it expects its underlying operating profit for 2020 to be in the £130-135m range, ahead of expectations, following a record digital revenue performance.
The owner of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail and of Scottish Business Insider reported that digital revenue grew by 24.9% in Q4, up from 13.4% in Q3.
Print circulation sales were down 11.7% in Q4, an improvement on the 12.6% decline in Q3.
Together these trends contributed to an improved total revenue decline in Q4 of 10.2%, compared with the 14.8% decline in Q3, as the group recovered from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In December, the company reached the milestone of five million online customer registrations and completed the development of Reach ID, its proprietary customer insight platform which provides a combined view of a user’s activity across all Reach sites.
It said these steps are key to the Customer Value Strategy, which is “enabling Reach to use
enhanced data and insights to drive new product innovations and to grow revenue through more targeted brand opportunities and commercial partnerships.
The group said that this month it will launch new websites covering Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire as well as expanding its MyLondon editorial team.
Chief executive officer Jim Mullen said: “It is a testament to our people that Reach has not only dealt with the unique challenges 2020 has presented, but we
have accelerated our strategy and we are ahead of where we expected to be.
“The new COVID-19 restrictions bring macro-economic uncertainty, but the changes made in the business during 2020 to develop a new, more efficient operating model, put us in a strong competitive position.”