Encouraging early signs from First Phase of re launches
At today's Annual General Meeting Ashley Highfield, CEO, presented to shareholders the initial sales of the titles in the first phase of the relaunch programme.
Highfield said: "While these are very early indications, being the first week of the relaunch, and benefitting from promotional support, they are still very encouraging."
Daily to Weeklies
The five daily to weekly relaunches achieved an average increase in sales of 77% compared to the average daily sale prior to relaunch. These titles have reported year-on-year sales declines of approaching 10% prior to relaunch but these deficits have been reversed with an underlying swing of over 93% against recent figures. With an impressive sales swing of 102%, the Scarborough News has clearly retained existing purchasers and also attracted new readers. The audiences for the other daily to weekly relaunches have also grown.
The early figures are similarly positive for the relaunched weekly newspapers. These titles averaged increased sales of 8% against the pre-relaunch figures. As with the dailies, the local weekly newspaper sector also has a backdrop of circulation decline and these sales improvements reflect an overall swing in sale of 16% . Importantly, many of these titles were relaunched with increased cover prices. For example, the West Sussex County Times relaunched at a higher price and still recorded increased sales of 19%, against a previous decline rate of 9%, a swing of 28%.
Commenting on this overall performance Ashley Highfield said: "While we obviously have to be cautious in extrapolating trends from the initial week post relaunch we are convinced that the relaunch programme will significantly benefit group circulation revenues. We will be paying close attention to the trends established over the medium term and will update the market as appropriate."
For further information please contact:
Ashley Highfield, CEO
Grant Murray, CFO
0131 225 3361
Richard Oldworth/ Louise Hadcocks
0207 466 5000