Wednesday, 15 July 2021 09:11

Johnston Press sees falling revenue but increased digital audiences

Johnston Press has said half-year revenue is expected to fall by approximately 5%, but has highlighted “positive indicators” for the remainder of the financial year.

The Edinburgh-based publisher, which oversees 204 titles across the UK, says it experienced a “challenging” trading environment over the first half of the year. While it traded well in the first quarter, Q2 was impacted by “a slowdown in general trading” alongside specific weakness in the periods before and after the general election.

For the 26 weeks to July 4, 2015, total revenue is expected to fall 5%, compared to 4.3% for the same period in 2014. Total advertising revenue is also expected to be 5% lower than the same period last year. Circulation is expected to fall by 5.5%.

However the firm’s digital audiences are continuing to grow, with the average monthly users rising by over 20%, and digital revenues expected to grow by 17%. Johnston Press is also forecasting “pleasing growth” from its 1XL digital advertising exchange partnership, and further digital product releases over the second half of the year, which will help it to achieve its digital revenue growth targets.

Ashley Highfield, Chief Executive, said: “Trading conditions in the first half of 2015 have undoubtedly been challenging, especially in the period around the General Election - a time when there was also a high degree of uncertainty in the wider market.

“Whilst we expect this will have an impact on profit both at the half year and the full year, there are positive indicators coming through with digital growth and continued strong cash flow.”

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