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Reach forecasts profit boost for 2021 as digital revenues rise

Reach forecasts profit boost for 2021 as digital revenues rise

Daily Mirror owner Reach has confirmed its annual operating profit is on track to exceed market expectations after recording strong digital revenue growth in the first four months of the year.While digital income is headed in the right direction, print revenues continue to atrophy amid a slump in physical newspaper sales.

Reach’s outlook

  • The Daily Express owner recorded a 35% rise in revenues for its digital business across the four months to April 25 on the back of a jump in registered users to 6.2 million.

  • A digital surge positions Reach with a favorable springboard to achieve its stated goal of accumulating 10 million registered customers by 2022.

  • The positive figures come despite a cost-cutting drive that has seen 550 people lose their jobs, as Reach battles to stem losses attributed to a pandemic-fueled acceleration in the pace of circulation and advertising decline at its newspapers.

  • Illustrating the sharply divergent performance of its digital and print arms, Reach saw the former jump 41.3% on a two-year growth rate basis, even as print revenues slid 24.3%.

  • Appetite for news and current affairs remains undimmed, with 6.2 million housebound readers electing to register online for content, a figure which places Reach in a favorable position to achieve 10 million registered users by 2022.

  • Chief executive Jim Mullen said: “With digital now accounting for more of our advertising revenues than print and growing strongly, we are well placed to make further progress during 2021.”

Why it matters

  • Reach appears to have weathered the worst of the Covid storm, with the outlook for 2021 being far more positive for publishers.

  • The Telegraph has already reported a similar rise in digital subscribers as it surpasses 600,000 paid readers online, fueling a 77% surge in digital subscription revenues to £31.5m in 2020.

  • The Drum recently gathered together media sales teams from major publishers such as The Washington Post, Reach and CNN to gain a deeper understanding of how individual publishers are adapting to a world spinning around us at an ever-quickening rate of knots.

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