The publisher of both The Daily Mirror and Daily Star recorded a 7% slide like-for-like group sales across the quarter, despite a 7% increase in digital revenue over the same period.
Despite such onerous headwinds chief executive Simon Fox declared the performance to be broadly ‘in line with expectations’, holding out the prospect of cost savings of as much as £2m this year as the integration of newly acquired Express & Star assets begin to bear fruit.
Looking further ahead to 2020, Fox believes the business will be in a position to save at least £20m per annum.
Fox added: “Our continued focus on tightly managing costs and driving digital revenue continues to provide confidence that performance for the year will be in line with market expectations.”
Reach's expected efficiencies of scale have been slow to materialise in the midst of a pronounced regional slump, which dragged the business to a statutory loss of £107.3m in the first half of the year.