Johnston Press plc issues the following trading update ahead of the Group's interim results announcement on 28 August 2002, for the 26 weeks to 30 June 2002.
Trading for the first 5 months of this year has been satisfactory and ahead of the Board's expectations, demonstrating the resilient nature of local advertising revenues over a period of economic uncertainty. Like-for-like advertising revenues were 2% ahead of the comparable period in 2001. Property and display advertising have been the main drivers of year-on-year growth.
Overall, circulation of our weekly titles continues to experience modest growth whilst the evening titles are showing a small decline, although this is partially attributable to periodic disruption during the final stages of our £40 million Press Investment Programme.
The integration of Regional Independent Media is progressing to plan and we anticipate an exceptional cost in the region of £3 million at the half year to reflect the costs of re-organisation.
Despite the continued economic uncertainty, the Board anticipates modest revenue growth this year. This, combined with the reduction in newsprint costs, proactive cost control and initial synergies from the RIM acquisition, gives the Board confidence about prospects for the remainder of 2002 and of delivering a satisfactory result for the year as a whole.
Tim Bowdler, Chief Executive or
Stuart Paterson, Finance Director
Johnston Press plc
Tel: 0131 225 3361
Richard Oldworth/Richard Darby
Tel: 020 7466 5000