Newspaper publisher says decline is slowing
Total advertising revenues decreased by 15.1 per cent at the
However the company said that market conditions at the beginning of 2013 were broadly in line with those seen at the end of 2012, but each of the first three months of the year showed a slowing in the year-on-year rate of revenue decline.
“While April’s results did not reflect this improving trend (partly due to the timing of Easter), initial trading in May suggests that the trend in the slowing of revenue declines has now resumed and we would expect this to continue into the second half of the year,” it said.
The group said its operating profit for the period to the end of April was ahead of the same period in the prior year after restructuring of the business last year reduced its cost base.
It said it expected net debt to continue to reduce significantly over the course of 2013 with capital expenditure and working capital remaining tightly controlled.
Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield said for the first time in almost seven years the group was in a position to report a year-on-year increase in its in operating profit for the period
“While the economic environment continued to be challenging, the implementation of our strategy progressed further with the successful completion of the relaunch of the vast majority of our titles, together with the further development of our digital business and the rollout of new hardware and software to all sales staff and journalists. With our reduced cost base and our continued focus on debt reduction, we remain on track to deliver a strong performance in 2013.”