Johnston Press sees revenues boost from i newspaper

Newspaper publisher Johnston Press said sales were on the rise after the i newspaper bolstered its readership.

Circulation revenues rose 18.8% year-on-year in the 17 weeks to October 29, with the i paper increasing its slice of the quality newspaper market from 18.5% to more than a fifth.

Sales of the 50p title grew by 4.6% to an average of 290,000 copies per day in September, while the firm said overall group trading had picked up since the Brexit vote.

Johnston Press, which also owns the Yorkshire Post and The Scotsman, acquired the i in April, when its average audited circulation was 270,182.

Total group revenues were 3.2% lower year-on-year in October, as it continued to grapple with the tough advertising market.

Media companies have been looking to offset a slide in newspaper sales by selling more adverts online.

The firm said combined print and digital advertising revenues – excluding classifieds – were down 6.8% over the period.

Transactional revenues – including public notices; births, marriages and death adverts and small classifieds – also dropped 4.3% for the 17 weeks to the end of October.

Shares were down 1%.

It added: “We remain focused on cutting costs to mitigate revenue declines and the impact of sterling weakness on paper prices, and assuming no further deterioration in trading conditions, the board expects performance to continue in line with expectations.”


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