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Johnston warns on banking covenants

SHARES in publisher Johnston Press &nbsp;sank 38 per cent yesterday after the group issued a profit warning and said there was a &ldquo;strong likelihood&rdquo; it would breach its banking covenants.<br /><br />Johnston said it was in discussion with its banks to refinance its &pound;448m net debt after it had abandoned the &nbsp;sale of its Irish titles &ndash; saying that there had been &ldquo;considerable interest&rdquo;, but not at a satisfactory price.<br /><br />Chief executive John Fry warned that operating profit for 2009 was likely to be at the lower end of analyst forecasts, while finance director Stuart Paterson said it was inevitable that the company would have to cut more jobs.<br /><br />Advertising revenue was down 34 per cent year-on-year, slightly higher than the City had expected.