Yorkshire Post owner saves £4m in management restructuring programme and targets doubling of online audience

A programme to localise management at the owners of The Yorkshire Post has saved £4m, it can be reported.

National World, which acquired the JPI Media group late last year, said that "delayering and flattening management structures" had resulted in significant savings as it targets doubling its online audience by the second half of next year.

In an update to the Stock Exchange, National World said it remains on track to deliver at least £5m of annualised savings during 2021, with restructuring costs of circa £4m.

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The company is streamlining its head office function and has created seven regional media units covering commercially homogeneous markets, a process which has led to the redeployment of several hundred staff.

The YP's owners are targeting doubling of audience figures.

It said that its year-on-year subscription had tripled to bring in £600,000 in revenue

Its print advertising and circulation revenue is estimated to have fallen by 10 per cent during the 21 week period ended 29 May, but April and May saw it achieve advertising revenue growth of 34 per cent.

It said circulation revenue is in line with 2020.

Digital advertising revenue is estimated to have grown by one per cent during the period, with growth of 45 per cent across April and May.

Digital subscription revenue grew by over 200 per cent during the period as subscriptions were rolled out across all the daily newspaper websites during the course of 2020.

Revenue for the first quarter of the year fell by 18 per cent year-on-year, although it increased by an estimated 18 per cent for April and May when compared with the same months in 2020.

It added: "Good progress continues to be made on the transformation of the JPI Media business and the Board is confident that performance for 2021 will be in line with its expectations.

"We continue to explore opportunities to deploy our considerable balance sheet strength through earnings enhancing investments and acquisitions."

David Montgomery, the Chairman of National World commented on the trading update: 'The many talented staff of JPI Media have assisted in a fast transformation of the business based on localisation with a focus on relevant content and supporting the communities served as they recover from lockdown.

"This transition and further investment in technology and partnerships have prepared National World for the next stage of rapid organic growth. Our target to double our online audience by the second half of next year is underpinned by providing quality content consistent with our existing premium brands across both a local and national footprint.

"We continue to evaluate investment and acquisition opportunities that would enhance our digital capabilities."