Trinity Mirror says 80% of phone-hacking claims settled
The publisher surprised investors by saying it expected to marginally beat forecasts for the year and that its reduction in net debt to £35m was significantly better than expectations.
However, it said it needed to put a further £11.5m towards phone-hacking costs to “maintain momentum” in resolving the approximately 250 claims against it.
The latest top-up will mean Trinity Mirror has set aside £52.5m to date to cover costs, which include damages payouts and legal fees.
“We have made good progress on settling civil claims arising from phone hacking, with damages for over 80% of claims now settled,” the company said.
“However, to maintain momentum in bringing the process to a conclusion it is clear that costs, in particular the claimants’ legal costs, will be higher and this has caused us to increase the provision for dealing with these historic matters by £11.5m.”
Last month, Trinity Mirror paid out more than £500,000 to settle phone-hacking claims by 29 people, including the entertainer Les Dennis, TV presenter Natasha Kaplinsky and EastEnders actor Steve McFadden.
Trinity Mirror said it expected to have about £22m left in its phone-hacking costs fund by the end of the year. ■