Scotsman publisher reports stronger second half

THE publishers of The Scotsman newspaper has reported a strong second half of this year, in terms of its advertising revenue and newspaper sales income.

Johnston Press this morning issued a financial statement for the five months up to the 30th of last month. Among the headline figures, overall advertising revenues increased by 0.2 per cent, compared to a decline of 1.5 per cent during the first half of this year.

Meanwhile, newspaper sales revenue continues grew as a result of increased cover prices more than off-setting declines in circulation.

Says Johnston Press, in a statement: “To date, our second half circulations are declining at a slightly lesser rate, and when coupled with the continued rapid growth in our online users and the roll-out of new print launches, this has resulted in a further increase in our total audience reach.”

The statement continued: “Overall, digital revenues continue to grow strongly, up by 35.3 per cent in the period, benefiting from the increased investment committed at the start of the year.

“A number of important site improvements have been introduced including the launch of iAnnounce, an online facility to allow users to set up a dedicated page to celebrate or commemorate personal events.

“We anticipate that this service has the potential to drive significant revenue growth. We expect to continue increased levels of investment in our digital activities.”

The company also announced that the integration of Scottish titles – such as the Fraserburgh Herald – acquired earlier this year from Norwich-based Archant has now been successfully completed and is delivering cost savings ahead of plan.

Finally, on being appointed chief executive of the publishers of the Wall Street Journal – Dow Jones, in New York – board member, Les Hinton, has stepped down, with immediate effect.