Trinity Mirror reported a 20 per cent increase in revenues in 2016 from £592m to £713m but has warned that the newspaper industry will continue to face difficult times as revenues from print advertising fall.

The UK’s biggest local newspaper group and owner of the Daily and Sunday Mirror said that print advertising fell by almost 18 per cent on a like for like basis in 2016. It forecast revenue in the first two months of 2017 is expected to fall by 9 per cent on a like for like basis.

The company said that despite the “challenging environment” it was still able to deliver a “strong” performance in 2016 thanks to the benefits from the £187.4m acquisition of local newspaper group Local World in November 2015 which helped drive cost savings of £25m – £10m ahead of target.

Pre tax profits at the FTSE group increased from £67m to £76.5m while operating profits grew from £83m to £92m for the 53 week trading year which ended 1 January 2017.

Trinity Mirror chief executive Simon Fox said:

We have delivered a strong financial performance in the year despite the challenging environment we face. I am particularly pleased with the progress we have made in growing our digital audience and revenue, and with the work we have done this year to develop and refine our strategic priorities for the year ahead.

Like for like digital revenue grew by 12.8%, the company said, offsetting a 10 per cent decline in publishing print revenues.

Trinity Mirror has also announced a strategic “refresh” of the company announcing four new key areas of focus in 2017: “to grow digital audience and revenue, to build new diversified revenue streams, to protect our strong print brands and to seek out strategic opportunities that drive value.”

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