News Column

Digital ad profit jumps despite revenue slump at Johnston Press

August 7, 2014

OLIVER SMITH



REGIONAL newspaper publisher Johnston Press, whose titles include The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post, said its underlying profit in the first half of 2014 tripled to 6.1m, despite a slump in revenue.


Shares in the publisher closed up 0.48 per cent at 4.22p as investors remained committed to the firm, which has reduced its debt by 40 per cent to 181.6m over the past year.


"The results reflect our ongoing progress against our strategic priorities as well as an improving economic climate, and demonstrate our continuing relevance to the communities we serve across print and digital," said chief executive Ashley Highfield.


"We now have a third less debt with a markedly lower interest rate resulting in our annual interest payments reducing from over 36m to around 20m. This puts Johnston Press on a much more stable footing and allows us now to focus on returning to top line growth and a prosperous future."


Johnston's digital advertising revenue grew 23.4 per cent to 14.1m, however this was not enough to compensate for the overall decline in print advertising which dragged total revenues down by 4.3 per cent to 135.8m during the 26 weeks to 28 June.


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Source: City A.M. (UK)


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