(Alliance News) - Reach PLC on Thursday said it is on track to deliver on its full-year expectations, despite revenue falling in the first quarter of 2024.

Shares in the London-based newspaper, magazine and digital publisher, which owns the Mirror and Express brands, were up 9.1% to 81.08 pence each in London on Thursday late morning.

In the three months that ended March 31, Reach said it expects to report a 6.7% drop in revenue from a year prior, which it said was hit by "the well publicised deprioritisation of news during 2023 by major platforms", partially offset by strengthening yield per page.

Digital revenue was down 8.5%, while print revenue was down 6.0%.

It said the higher priority data-driven revenue continues to perform strongly, however, driven by a combination of non-advertising and advertising revenue.

Reach said it is on track to deliver on its full-year expectations following its first quarter. Consensus market expectations for the full year are GBP97.6 million in adjusted operating profit, ticked up from GBP96.5 million a year earlier.

"We have set the business up to succeed - the decision to take cost action early, alongside the continued implementation of the customer value strategy is delivering a growing yield performance and driving results. This gives me confidence that we can continue to navigate current market conditions," said Chief Executive Officer Jim Mullen.

"With events like the European Football Championships, Olympics and elections round the corner we have the opportunity to generate high levels of interest by entertaining and informing our audiences with brilliant journalism."

By Greg Rosenvinge, Alliance News senior reporter

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