Newspaper publisher Reach to resume DRC payments

Reach PLC, the publishing house for the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Daily Star, will resume payment of its pension deficit recovery contributions (DRCs).

The company had suspended its DRCs in April 2020 to mitigate the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure it was “in as strong as position as it can be”.

It deferred payments after The Pensions Regulator (TPR) introduced easements around DRCs to allow trustees great discretion and to be less likely to face enforcement action.

In Reach’s trading update, it confirmed that DRC payments would resume, although annual bonus schemes relating to 2020 remain suspended.

As part of its strategy to ease its measures adopted to weather the pandemic, temporary pay cuts to staff will end, except for the CEO, CFO and other board members.

Commenting on the update, Reach CEO, Jim Mullen, said: "Structural change in the media sector has accelerated during the pandemic and this has resulted in increased adoption of our digital products. However, due to reduced advertising demand, we have not seen commensurate increases in digital revenue.

“To meet these challenges and to accelerate our customer value strategy, we have completed plans to transform the business and are ready to begin the process of implementation.

“Regrettably, these plans involve a reduction in our workforce and we will ensure all impacted colleagues are treated with fairness and respect throughout the forthcoming consultation process.

"The plans will provide a stable platform for us to accelerate our strategy, based on stronger and deeper customer relationships, increasing our appeal to advertisers. This will ensure the sustainability and profitability of the Reach business, enabling it to deliver to stakeholders over the long term.”

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