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Regionals ad gloom is not lifting

Johnston Press, the UK’s second largest regional newspaper publisher with 250 titles including The Scotsman which it bought this year, has seen no sign of the advertising gloom lifting.

A trading update issued today says that in the five months to June 3 ad revenues on a like-for-like basis, excluding acquisitions, were down 9.4%. This is a slight improvement on the year-on-year figures given in March.

The company blames higher unemployment and lower vacancies; lower car sales and dealer consolidation; weakness in consumer confidence and poor results from a number of high street retailers.

But property and other classified advertising continued to grow. Circulation revenues were ahead of last year and there was good growth in internet publishing activities.

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