Johnston Press has today unveiled its interim results for the six months ended 29 June 2013, which have seen the company’s total ad revenue decline by 13.6 per cent, while circulation declined by 0.7 per cent.
However, the company did see growth in terms of digital revenue: up 13.3 per cent to £11.6m, with local online display, digital property and digital motor revenues growing by 17.1 per cent, 91.2 per cent and 175.8 per cent respectively.
Like for like operating profit for the six months increased by 4.3 per cent from £27.4m to £28.6m: the first like-for-like increase seen by Johnston Press for seven years.
Chief executive, Ashley Highfield, said: “Johnston Press has continued to make good progress during the first half in the implementation of its strategy for growth, completing the re-launch of its print titles and investing further in technology to build its digital platform whilst maintaining a tight control on costs. It is encouraging to see the benefits of our actions starting to come through, with the Group achieving its first like for like operating profit increase in seven years.
“Although the economic outlook is not without challenges, momentum has continued into the second half, underpinned by the re-structuring and re-focusing of the business, an increasingly stable advertising market and growth in circulation and digital revenues. This has enabled us to report like for like operating profit up 4.3 per cent, digital revenues up 13.3 per cent and net debt down 15.3 per cent, with total advertising decline rate narrowing to 6.3 per cent during June and July 2013.
“We remain focused on adapting our business to the changing environment in which we operate and reaching the point where digital growth will offset any further decline so that we can return to overall top line growth. In view of this operational progress, we expect the results for 2013 to be broadly in line with current market expectations.”
Overall, revenue was down 9.8 per cent to £144.3m.