Johnston Press, the UK’s second largest regional newspaper group (after Trinity Mirror) proved the earnings forecasts of entrail-rakers wrong with a performance that bettered predictions and defied the slowdown in jobs advertising.

On a like for like basis – excluding the acquisition in April of Regional Independent Media – total ad revenues rose 1.2%. These, together with an eleven weeks contribution from RIM, lifted group pretax profits for the half-year to £44.2 million ($67.76m; €69.12m).

Chief executive Tim Bowdler said he expects “modest” revenue growth in the second half. “Costs remain under close control to ensure that our enlarged business is well placed to accommodate any possible reduction in advertising,” he added.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff