Johnston Press Bucks Newspaper Gloom Trend

17 December 2001

Britain’s fourth largest regional newspaper group Johnston Press injected some much needed cheer into the depressed sector last week with its forecast that H2 earnings would reflect a year-on-year increase in advertising revenues.

Although performance had been affected by the September 11 atrocities, profits for 2001 would be at the higher end of market expectations despite a first-half slowdown in adspend growth from 3.6% to 1.6%. Advertising for job vacancies had risen by 13% in the first half, although the sector reflected a sharp fall to just 1.4% growth in the ensuing five months.

Johnston’s performance compares well with that of Trinity Mirror [WAMN: 11-Dec-01] whose regional titles saw advertising revenue fall 2.3% in October and 2.9% in November. In the same months, its Scottish newspapers registered respective declines of 13% and 17.3%.

News source: Media Week (UK)