Chief executive Ashley Highfield

Chief executive Ashley Highfield

Regional newspaper publisher Johnston Press has this morning announced its financial results for 2014*.

The group, which publishes many well-known titles in the north, including the Yorkshire Post, has reported a pre-tax loss of £23.9m for last year as well as a 20% increase in digitial revenues.

During the year the group announced a series of job losses and restructures and the results show that operating costs reduced by £13.8m net of investment in digital.

Key highlights reported include:

  • Profit before tax: Underlying profit before tax increased 235.1% to £29.9m from £8.9m
  • Operating profit: Increased for the second consecutive year to £55.5m – up 2.8%
  • Revenue: Total underlying revenues of £265.9m reflect a decline of 4.4% for the period
  • Digital revenues: Up 20.0% for the period, from £24.0m to £28.8m representing 17.4% of advertising revenues (2013: 13.8%)
  • Digital audience grew by 35.8% to an average of 16.7m in 2014 (2013: 12.3m)

Commenting on the annual results and outlook, the Chief Executive, Ashley Highfield, said: “Following the refinancing we are seeing the business transform into a modern multimedia organisation. The strong growth in our digital audiences and accelerated growth of digital revenues, aided by the roll-out of Digital Kitbag and the launch of Sky Adsmart and 1XL are changing the shape of the Company. We are excited about the future for the business and confident of delivering on our strategic objectives of growing an engaged audience base and returning our business to top line growth”.

The full trading statement can be found here.

* 2014 was a 53 week trading period and the underlying results have been adjusted to exclude the impact of the extra week.