Ad Revenue Slump Revealed by Johnston Press

A big drop in advertising revenue has hit the owners of The Scotsman newspaper, Johnston Press.

In an interim management statement published this morning, the company revealed that, for the first 44 weeks of this year, up to November 1, advertising revenue was down 15.5 per cent on the same period last year.

In comparison, the first six months of this year had seen a 9.5 per cent drop in advertising revenue compared to the same six months last year, the difference since – says the company – down to “further substantial declines in property advertising, combined with significant falls in employment and display advertising”.

The ‘credit crunch’ and a general slowdown in economic activity have been identified as the main reasons.

And the numbers are big: from summer to now (ie weeks 27-44) year-on-year ad revenue on property was down 48.4 per cent; on employment, down 32.1 per cent; on motors, down 24.3 per cent; and on display advertising, down 12.1 per cent.

One cheering figure over the 44 weeks was digital advertising: up 36.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, says Johnston, “newspaper sales revenues after 44 weeks are slightly down on last year, with circulations suffering from both the general economic conditions and a significant reduction in levels of interest in the property market”.

The impact will be more cost-cutting,