Johnston Press post first profit in four years

Johnston Press, the owner of the Scotsman and the Yorkshire Evening Post, has revealed its first year-on-year operating profit for the first time since 2006.

Johnston Press, the owner of the Scotsman and the Yorkshire Evening Post, has revealed its first year-on-year operating profit for the first time since 2006.

The regional newspaper publisher’s operating profit was up to £40.5m, from £38.2m in 2009. Pre-tax profit in the first half of 2010 was £26.1m.

The company also posted an encouraging rise in its digital revenue, increasing 9.7 per cent to £10m.
Chief executive John Fry claimed that, barring the economy returning to a state of recession, “the outcome for the group in 2010 will be in line with current market expectations”.

While the rate of decline in advertising revenue appears to be easing, the profits can also be attributed to continuing staff cuts at the publisher’s papers.

According to MediaGuardian, its cost base has been cut by £13.6m compared with the first half of 2009, with around 223 staff losing their jobs since the beginning of the year.

Chief financial officer Stuart Paterson has warned to expect more cuts later this year, but did not offer a figure for the likely number of job losses.

(Source: MediaGuardian)

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