LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Trinity Mirror said it will issue notices requiring claims over phone hacking allegations to be served, as it is yet to receive legal papers two weeks after a lawyer said the scandal had spread to the newspaper publisher.
A lawyer said in October that he filed legal claims against Trinity Mirror on behalf of four people, hurting its shares, as the Daily Mirror tabloid looked set to be engulfed by a crisis which has swept rival publisher News International.
Trinity Mirror said in a market update on Thursday that it expected 2012 operating profit to be broadly in line with last year's figure of 104.5 million pounds, slightly ahead of current market expectations, as advertising revenues improved in November.
The company said its flagship Daily Mirror title was facing a challenging market environment and revenues declined faster, as it expected, in the 17 weeks to October 28 compared to the first half of the year.
Trinity Mirror, which also owns 100 regional titles, added that it remained on track to deliver cost savings of 20 million pounds ($32 million) in 2012 and said that a strong performance had helped it reduce debt by 19 million pounds in the period.
The group said there was nothing further to say at this stage on the possibility of it taking a minority stake in a new group formed by combining the assets of privately owned Yattendon's Iliffe News & Media with Northcliffe's 84 newspapers. Northcliffe is owned by Daily Mail.
($1 = 0.6255 British pounds)
Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Paul Sandle