Johnston Press plc has today published its Interim Management Statement which has been drawn up for the 16 weeks to 18 October 2014, this being the last practicable date, as required by the UK Listing Authority’s Disclosure and Transparency Rules.
Johnston Press is a leading UK based local media group, connecting SMEs with local consumers through the provision of news, sport and other information, in print, online and via mobile and social networks.
Highlights for the quarter:
Having successfully refinanced in the first half of the year, the business continues to grow its audience and move closer to returning to top line growth, with more advertising categories now showing net growth in the period.
The group enjoyed a further narrowing of the decline in total revenues year on year from continuing operations, down 3.1% in the third quarter compared with 4.3% in the first half of the year.
Further highlights include:
- Momentum in digital audience growth underpinning the strength of our multimedia platform, with total print and digital audience now averaging over 27m users per month including mobile audience nearly doubling (96% growth) to 6.5m average monthly unique users. Total digital audience up 40% year on year in September.
- Advertising revenues down 3.4% in the third quarter, compared to 4.6% in the first half of the year, whilst advertising volumes remain strong with year on year growth in the quarter.
- Encouraging year on year aggregate revenue growth in both the employment and motors category.
- Digital revenues delivering strong growth of 19.5% in the quarter.
- New products starting to deliver growth – In the third quarter Digital Kitbag took 879 orders which more than doubled the orders taken in the previous quarter. The first Sky AdSmart sales were also booked in the period with a strong pipeline developing.
- Circulation revenues in the quarter declining in line with trend at 4.7%.
- Continuing to focus on cost savings, reinvesting part of those savings in its digital business.
- Trading during October 2014 is in line with monthly trends.