Publisher’s pre-tax profit joy

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Media group Johnston Press saw underlying pre-tax profits increase by over 235 per cent on the previous year.

The publisher of The Yorkshire Post reported that pre-tax profits had increased to £29.9m from £8.9m a year ago.

Operating profit also increased for the second consecutive year to £55.5m, but total underlying revenues of £265.9m reflect a decline of 4.4 per cent for the 53 weeks to January 3.

Digital revenues at the business are up 20 per cent and Johnston Press said that its digital audience had grown by 35.8 per cent to an average of 16.7 million.

Johnston Press also announced that it had been awarded a significant four-title print contract by Express Newspapers in a multi-million pound, five-year deal.

The company will print the Daily Express, Daily Star, Sunday Express and Daily Star Sunday at their Dinnington site in Sheffield after securing the contract to print Express Newspapers’ North of England titles.

Johnston Press chief executive, Ashley Highfield, said: “This new contract is testament to the quality of service provided by the highly trained teams at our printing sites and demonstrates the faith other media groups have in our ability to deliver exceptional quality products.”

It is anticipated that issues will first roll off the Dinnington presses in July.