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Johnston Press: Advertising Picture Improving as Digital Revenues Surge

Johnston Press today reports an "excellent start to the year” for digital revenues - up 13.9 per cent - and an improving performance for print advertising. 

In its interim management statement for the 18 weeks to 7 May, the group said total ad revenues (print and digital) were down 9.1% year on year, with an improvement from the Q1 decline of 9.6% to a slower decline of 8.0% for Q2 to date.

"Digital revenues have had an excellent start to the year, up 13.9% in the first 18 weeks, and showed an improvement from Q1 (9.6%) to Q2 to date (26.9%). Online display, online employment, and the Find it directory business have all been drivers of this growth,” said the statement. 

Circulation revenue remained resilient, down 2.0% year on year for the period, with a slowing in the rate of decline of weekly circulation numbers.

"The advertising outlook for the year remains volatile, but we anticipate that the strategy that the Group has set out will provide benefits from the relaunches of all of the Group’s paid-for titles during the year, along with continued improvement in digital performance throughout 2012.”

Full year results were expected to be in line with market expectations.

The Advertising Association forecasts that regional press advertising revenues (print) will be back in growth by Q4 this year and that growth will be sustained throughout 2013.

The NS is the voice of Britain’s local media, the UK’s most trusted medium. It represents 1,100 newspapers, 1,700 websites and other print, digital and broadcast channels.