Johnston Press Sees Further Annual Loss

Johnston Press is reporting a pre-tax loss of £23.9million for 2014, but has seen an improvement in its underlying conditions.

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This was a significant drop for the company, which had a £291.4million loss in 2013. It has also decreased its debt from £302million to £184.6million following refinancing.

After removing the additional 53rd week from last year’s results the company’s profits, at an operational level, rose from £54million to £55.5million.

It also saw digital revenues rise 20% over the period from £24million to £28.8million, which represented 17.4% of its advertising revenue. The same period also saw its digital audience grow by 35.8%, to an average of 16.7million. The company was also able to reduce its operating costs by £13.8million, due to an investment in digital methods.

The group says it “remains focused on digital growth and driving increased audiences,” with business transformation remaining at the “forefront of [its] plans.”

Chief executive, Ashley Highfield, said: “Following the refinancing we are seeing the business transform into a modern multimedia organisation.

“The strong growth in our digital audiences and accelerated growth of digital revenues, aided by the roll-out of Digital Kitbag and the launch of Sky Adsmart and 1XL are changing the shape of the Company.

“We are excited about the future for the business and confident of delivering on our strategic objectives of growing an engaged audience base and returning our business to top line growth”.

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