Reach plc to cut 450 jobs amid inflation concerns, shifts focus on digital publishing

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Reach plc to cut 450 jobs amid inflation concerns, shifts focus on digital publishing
Credit: © Reuters.

UK-based Reach plc, owner of prominent newspapers like Daily Mirror, Express, and Daily Star, has announced its intention to eliminate approximately 450 jobs. This decision is part of a broader strategy to counter expected inflationary pressures in 2024 and maintain the company's position as a top-tier digital publisher.

The planned job cuts follow two previous employment reduction phases implemented earlier this year, which saw around 200 roles eliminated. These measures are part of the company's ongoing efforts to reduce spending by 5-6% in anticipation of the economic challenges of the coming year.

In addition to these cost-cutting measures, Reach is also investing in its digital publishing capabilities. The company has already begun publishing AI-written articles on its local platform, In Your Area. This move was unveiled following the announcement of the company's first-quarter earnings.

CEO Jim Mullen (NASDAQ: MULN ) stressed the necessity for adaptability in an increasingly digital landscape. He emphasized that these changes were necessary for fulfilling long-term objectives, enhancing customer value, developing online offerings, and expanding audience reach.

Mullen's comments reflect broader challenges faced by the newspaper sector, which is grappling with escalating newsprint costs and changing priorities on social media platforms. Despite these challenges, Reach remains committed to its digital-centric business strategy and intends to continue leading the way in incorporating AI in journalism within the UK.

In other market news, Brent Crude oil prices have dropped to a three-month low of $81.57 due to an unexpected surge in US crude inventories. This drop has led to underperformance in oil stocks such as BP (NYSE: BP ) and Shell (LON: SHEL ), causing the FTSE 100 index to close slightly in the negative.

InvestingPro Insights

InvestingPro's real-time data offers some encouraging signs for Reach plc. Despite the job cuts, the company's stock price has been on an upward trend over the last twelve months as of Q1 2023. This positive momentum is further bolstered by a 25% growth in digital revenues in the same period. Notably, Reach's strategic cost-saving measures have paid off, with the company reporting a robust operating profit margin of 20% in Q1 2023.

InvestingPro Tips suggest that Reach plc's commitment to digital innovation and AI integration could serve as a key growth driver in the future. Additionally, the company's successful cost-saving strategies and growing digital revenues position it as a compelling long-term investment opportunity. For more insightful tips, consider exploring the InvestingPro platform, which offers a comprehensive collection of over 100 additional tips for informed investing.

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