Increased online readership lifts Trinity Mirror profits

LONDON (Reuters) - British media group Trinity Mirror said it was confident about prospects for 2013 after cost cuts and increased website readership helped lift pretax profit 2.5 percent in the first half of the year.

The profit increase at the publisher of the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror newspapers came despite an 8.5 percent drop in revenue to 332 million pounds ($503 million), due to a 4.6 percent fall in circulation volume of the daily title, which was better than the wider market which dropped 9.6 percent.

The publisher's average monthly online page views grew 48.6 percent and unique monthly users increased 36.9 percent, compared with the previous year.

The group said growth was boosted by implementation of a new strategy involving a unified use of journalists across its different papers and a focus on cost management, which helped to cut operating costs by 28.5 million pounds from 2012.

"Whilst still at an early stage, our transformation plan has got off to an encouraging start and this provides me with confidence in the performance for the year," said Chief Executive Simon Fox.

Shares in the company, which were up 25 percent from the beginning of the year, were up 0.6 percent in early trading on Thursday.

(Reporting by Max de Haldevang; Editing by David Holmes)