Shares of Reach PLC (LON: RCH) exploded nearly 17% this morning in London to hit fresh record highs after the company reported digital growth in five months to November 22.
The pandemic and fresh lockdowns pushed people towards digital media to help Reach increase its revenue in this segment by 16.2%. Last month, over 42 million visitors were registered on the company’s websites, it said.
On the overall basis, the company’s revenue plunged by 13.9% as it was dragged lower by falling print revenue of 19.6%.
“The headwinds from COVID-19 have been considerable, but while we remain mindful of potential impacts from the current lockdowns, we approach the end of the year with a strong and growing digital business, resilient print circulation sales, and a new, efficient operating model,” Jim Mullen, Chief Executive Officer of Reach, commented.
Reach, which owns Daily Mirror and Daily Express newspapers, has over 4.25 million subscribers now as it continues to work towards its mid-term target of 10 million subscribers by the end of 2022. Still, the company was forced to cut 550 jobs in summer after seeing its print revenue fall by 30% in the second quarter.
Looking forwards, Reach is working on the restructuring of its business after suffering consecutive slumps in print revenue.
“The Company has recently announced plans to consolidate its printing operations to achieve further efficiencies. A consultation on these proposals, which would involve closure of two of its six printing sites, is ongoing,” it is said in the statement.
Reach share price initially rose about 17% to hit an all-time high at 178.8p, before correcting lower on profit-taking. Shares are now trading around 4% higher on the day.
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