Johnston Press (LON:JPR) shares traded down nearly 2 percent on Thursday morning, despite the publishing group remaining confident that trading for the full year would be in line with expectations.
The group were hit by a fall in advertising revenue during its third quarter, with print advertising down 8 percent and print classified advertising remaining “very challenging”. Total group revenue was flat in the third quarter, and including classifieds was down 7 percent.
However, the publisher was boosted by strong performance by its i newspaper, which saw total like-for-like revenues increase by 17 percent in the quarter. Print advertising rose 14 percent, with the newly launched i weekend paper seeing a 15,000 circulation increase in its first three weeks.
Ashley Highfield, CEO of Johnston Press, said,
“Our key strategic priorities of continuing the success of the i newspaper and growing digital revenues have both shown strong gains during the period. It is significant that The Scotsman saw strong year on year advertising growth in Q3, with almost half of that coming from digital, driven by both audience growth and increased monetisation from data-driven targeted advertising.
“A significant amount of work is being done on the strategic review of financing options and we are pleased with progress to date.”
Johnston’s portfolio includes around 190 paid for weekly newspapers, 10 paid for daily newspapers, 30 free titles and over 10 lifestyle magazines across the UK and Ireland. Shares in the company are currently trading down 1.85 percent at 13.25 (1036GMT).