Johnston Press presses on with digital push as print revenues decline

The publishing company said it had been hit by advertisers’ caution ahead of May’s election
Johnston Press yesterday reported a £6.2m fall in revenue in the six months to 3 July, citing a “slowdown in general trading”.

Driving the decline in revenues was a fall in income from print advertising, which fell to £64.1m, down 9.5 per cent on the same period of last year.

The newspaper and magazine publisher said its titles had been especially affected by advertisers’ caution during the period leading up to the General Election.

Digital advertising revenues helped to limit the gloom, up 17.5 per cent from £14.1m to £16.5m. Motor advertising in particular continued to perform strongly, rising 25.6 per cent.

Johnston said that, excluding a lacklustre performance from its employment advertising section to be excluded, digital revenue growth was up 22.9 per cent year-on-year.

The publisher also made significant gains in its digital audience, reporting a 20.4 per cent increase to reach a total of 19.9m unique users per month.

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