NUJ reacts to Reach’s half year results

  • 27 Jul 2021

NUJ responds to the half year results released this morning

Commenting on the release of Reach plc’s half-year results this morning, an NUJ statement said:

"It is good to hear a major publisher put investment in journalism at the heart of its strategy for growth - and this is a realisation that journalists are now very obviously a key driver providing the wealth of Reach plc and its shareholders.

"The underlying figures show that this is a company convincing the City that its digital operations are capable to making substantial profits and generating plenty of cash. We note that shareholders received a more than £13m pay-out earlier in the year and will get about half as much again in September with a 4.6 per cent boost to the interim dividend.

"At the same time, the company has been able, in the last six months, to add a further £12m to its cash pile making £54m now - a comfortable cushion as the economy and the company’s trading - both in digital and print - are respectively growing and recovering strongly.

"The commitment and sacrifices of NUJ members to make the company a success emerging from the Covid crisis has not yet been fully reciprocated in their rewards. The company transferred many the costs of its offices to our members with the Home and Hub project shutting sites around the country and keeping just 15 regional hubs. This has meant many of our members have had to create a mini Reach office in their own homes. The figures today show that the company is reaping an £8m benefit from this.

"And while operating profits surge 25 per cent to £68m for the first half of the year and the profit margin cranks ever higher to 22.8 per cent, a sub-inflation pay offer of just 1 per cent to our members does not send a message that their efforts are being properly recognised. This is not what our members would take from Jim Mullen’s quote that he is committed to delivering growth for the benefit of all stakeholders.

"Frankly NUJ members expect better and can clearly see that the company is in a position to do much better to reward them."

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