- Revenues fell 9% in five months to end of May
- The group said pressure on revenues will continue into second half of year
Shares in Johnston Press fell by 17 per cent today after the group said rising paper costs and the impact of new data protection rules on advertising revenues added to an already challenging trading environment.
The group, which publishes the Scotsman, Yorkshire Post and i newspaper, said revenues slumped 9 per cent since the beginning of the year and would continue to be under pressure in the second half.
For this reason, more ‘cost savings’ will become necessary. Shares in the group fell 17 per cent to 7.10p.
Falling revenues: Johnston Press expects this to continue in the second half of the year
‘The trading environment remains extremely challenging, exacerbated in recent months by uncertainty around future paper costs and the impact of GDPR on digital advertising revenues,’ the group said.
‘We expect to see continued pressure on revenues in the second half of the year, and a requirement for cost savings.’
The decline in sales comes despite a ‘strong performance’ from the i newspaper, which Johnston Press acquired in 2016.
The company still expects full-year results to be in line with market expectations.
Johnston Press also gave an update on its strategic review, originally announced in March last year.
The publisher has been discussing its restructuring and refinancing options ahead of next June, when £220million bonds come due for repayment.
However, it said on Tuesday that the company has yet to reach any agreement with investors and stakeholders.
The update comes just a month after the publisher saw its chief executive, Ashley Highfield, resign, citing family reasons.
Mr Highfield, who had been at the helm since 2011 and spearheaded the acquisition of the i newspaper, is being replaced by finance chief David King.