Pre Close Period Trading Update June 2002

26 week period 31st December 2001 to 30th June 2002

Trinity Mirror, the UK's largest newspaper publisher, is today issuing a trading update ahead of the Company's interim results announcement on 31st July.

Progress on strategy
During the first six months of the year, the Group has continued to make significant progress in the implementation of the strategies for its key businesses and in the realisation of its targeted cost savings.

During the last six months' implementation of the regional newspaper division's "from Biggest to Best" strategic programme, it has become clear that the potential improvement opportunities are greater than first identified and can be realised at a faster pace.

As announced in February, the Group will invest an incremental £20 million this year (plus a reallocation of annual marketing spend, including the withdrawal from bulk sales) in the integrated marketing strategy developed for the two Mirror titles. This strategy has been designed to increase, over time, frequency of purchase by existing readers and to improve the titles' appeal to young readers entering the tabloid market. Over the past three months the foundations of the strategy have been successfully laid, including editorial repositioning; a new branding campaign; and the use of price discounting, in a controlled and planned manner, as a stimulus for occasional and infrequent readers to purchase the newspaper more often. Early research on the product changes and branding campaign are extremely positive and the improved circulation performance resulting from the Daily Mirror cover price discounting has met the Group's expectations.

In Scotland, the Daily Record and Sunday Mail's advertising improvement strategy is delivering positive results, as indicated by its improving advertising revenue performance over the past five months.

On 19th June, the Sunday Business Post (a small non-core regional business based in Dublin) was sold for approximately Euro 10 million. This business made an operating loss of £0.2 million in 2001.

There has been a clear difference in advertising market conditions for regional newspapers in the South East and London (which has seen significant decline throughout the period) and the rest of the United Kingdom (where market conditions have been tough but considerably stronger than the South East). Advertising revenue decline, year-on-year, across the regional newspapers (excluding the three Metro titles and the Sunday Business Post) for the 26 week period is expected to be 2.3%, with a decline of 11.6% in the South East/London offset by growth of 1.7% across the rest of the division. Recruitment advertising revenue is estimated to have declined 5.1%, although the South East/London fell 21.7% and the remaining regional businesses (excluding the Metro titles and the Sunday Business Post) are estimated to grow by 2.8%.

The advertising revenue of the three Metro titles for the 26 weeks is expected to increase by 7.9%, year-on-year.

Advertising conditions for the Group's three UK national titles have remained extremely difficult with very limited visibility, resulting in an estimated year-on-year revenue decline of 10.3% for the 26 week period. However, May and June have seen a significant improvement in advertising revenues (with an estimated year-on-year increase of 0.4%) compared to the first four months of the year. The Scottish national newspaper operations are expecting an advertising revenue decline of only 2.0% for the 6 month period, primarily reflecting the successful implementation of the business's advertising strategy and a robust local advertising market.

Circulation revenue of the Group's regional newspapers increased 0.7%, compared to the same five month period in 2001, as a result of cover price increases applied to certain titles.

During the first four months of the year the ABC sale (excluding sampling) of the Daily Mirror declined 2.4% year-on-year. In May, following the brand relaunch and introduction of cover price discounting, the Daily Mirror's ABC sale (excluding sampling) was only 0.5% down year-on-year.

During the first five months, the ABC sale (excluding sampling) of the Sunday Mirror declined, year-on-year, by 2.5% and the Sunday People by 5.1% (with May's year on year decline of 1.8% being its lowest rate of decline since 1999).

A long term plan based on intensive micro-marketing activity has been put in place to improve the circulation performance of the two Scottish national titles. During April and May there has been a limited impact from cover price discounting by the UK tabloid newspapers in Scotland. Consequently, during the first five months, the Daily Record's circulation volumes in Scotland declined by 4.2% and the Sunday Mail declined 3.2%. This trend has continued into June.

As stated in the Chairman's AGM trading statement issued in May, the directors believe it is prudent to plan on the current advertising conditions remaining throughout most of the year. However, our trading performance to date, the continued successful implementation of the Group's strategic objectives and the realisation of cost savings ahead of expectations provide considerable support to the Group's financial prospects in 2002. The group also continues to benefit from the £13 million reduction in the level of investment in digital media (compared to 2001) and the impact of the £17.5 million newsprint price decrease. Consequently, the directors are confident of delivering a satisfactory financial outcome for the year.