Johnston Press eyes digital as it announces losses of £144m
As it aims to place digital at the heart of its operations, Johnston Press has revealed a loss of £143.8 million, while advertising revenue continued to fall by 9%.
The company has said that the substantial loss was due to 'the impairment of the value of publishing titles of £163.7m, compared with the charge of £13.1m in 2010.'
In announcing its preliminary financial results for 2011, the publisher of The Scotsman also announced a 10.3% decrease in operating profit, down from £72m in 2010.
To reflect the move to centre its core offering around digital content in the future, Johnston Press saw digital advertising revenue grow by 0.7%, following the launch of online business listing directory Find it and local voucher website DealMonster.
The sale of the company’s newspapers also continued to fall, impacting sales revenues by 1.1% year-on-year, while total operating costs were reduced by £16.9m, despite an increase in newsprint costs of £7.6m.
2012 has continued to see the decline in advertising revnue, with a fall of 10.6% during the first 15 weeks of the year, in comparison with last year. The company has said it is ‘mitigating the shortfall’ in advertising through ‘tight operational control and cost management’ while also developing ‘other revenue streams’.
Commenting on the figures, chief executive, Ashley Highfield, said:"Although the prospects for the economy remain downbeat in the short term, I believe we can return Johnston Press to being a growth business through the twin track approach of re-launching and revitalising our papers while simultaneously growing our websites, and taking full advantage of the opportunities created by technology and the changing media demands of our users to deliver innovative propositions."