Market conditions in the first 18 weeks of the second half of 2012 were more challenging than the first half of the year with like for like total revenues down by 11.4 per cent year on year, according to Johnston Press plc's Interim Management Statement which was released today.
Total print and digital advertising revenues were down 14.0 per cent, with unadjusted declines being 16.1 per cent, 5.1 per cent and 16.3 per cent respectively.
Compared to this time last year display advertising has declined by 16.8 per cent, and classified advertising has declined by 19.1 per cent.
Covering the 18 weeks to 3 November 2012, the Interim Management Statement also revealed that successful relaunches of 54 paid-for titles has slowed the Group's year on year circulation revenue decline by 0.5 per cent, with growth anticipated for the Group in Q4.
Of the 31 titles relaunched in the second half of the year their revenues were found to be up 19.5 per cent on the week immediately prior to the relaunch and 13.8 per cent up year on year.
The Group's digital audience continued to grow across the network of websites with monthly website visitors for October increasing 25.2 per cent year on year, increasing to 9.8 million.
Johnston Press' CEO, Ashley Highfield, said of the Interim Management Statement: "“The second half of 2012 has seen acceleration in the implementation of the strategy for the business. While market conditions have been even tougher than expected, we have made good progress in restructuring our operations, reducing the cost base, maintaining focus on debt reduction and continuing to invest in growth areas.
"We have moved forward with the re-launch of our titles with encouraging early signs, and our digital business has seen a huge increase in audience this year, as well as the launch of services across iPad, mobile and PC, which will provide a spring-board to future digital revenue growth.
"As a result, the business is moving onto a more stable footing as we go into 2013 when the full benefits of the changes will be seen."