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Trinity Mirror Year Profit, Revenue Down

UK newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror reported on Thursday a near 14% fall in its annual pretax profit to 185.4 million pounds ($363.2 million), which it blamed on a difficult advertising environment.

The Daily Mirror owner said revenue was down 4.8% at 1.03 billion pounds but it expected the advertising market conditions to stabilise during the year with the rate of decline slowing.

"The combination of this stabilisation and continued focus on cost reduction underpins the Board's confidence in the future, with 2007 performance in line with expectations," Chief Executive Sly Bailey said.

Analysts had on average expected revenue of 1.08 billion pounds and a pretax profit of 177 million pounds according to Reuters Estimates.

Trinity said the end of the fourth quarter showed some encouraging improvement in the advertising markets "although it is still to early to call the turn in the cycle".

Trinity said in December it would sell its sports unit, including the Racing Post, and some regional titles after conducting a review following a drop in profits due to a weak ad environment and falling circulation.

It plans to focus on its national newspapers which also include the Mirror and Sunday Mirror tabloids, the People and Daily Record newspapers.

"We intend to optimise our capital structure following the disposals and we are intending to return the cash proceeds, net of related taxes and payments into the pension funds, to shareholders," the group said.