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Ellen Hammett 

Johnston Press reports loss of £287 million

Johnston Press reports loss of £287 million

Johnston Press has reported a loss of £287 million in 2013, alongside a significant decrease in advertising revenue.

Despite a small 2.5% increase in operating profit, the regional newspaper publisher was down almost £300 million before tax as a result of "significant exceptional items" - largely the "impairment of assets announced at the half year and restructuring costs".

In 2013 advertising revenue declined -6.4% on an underlying basis, while unadjusted ad revenues were down -10%. In January and February this year, advertising revenues were also down -6%.

Johnston Press has said that although the economic outlook is starting to show signs of improvement, the company will continue to manage its cost base while building on its digital growth, which was up 19.4% in revenue in 2013 and 25.3% in the second half of the year.

Commenting on the results, chief executive, Ashley Highfield, said: "During the year we completed the re-launch of our websites and our print titles, and took the first steps to re-invent community newspapers with significantly higher levels of user generated content.

"With the benefits of our actions coming through, coupled with strong digital growth and a slowing print decline, the Group is well positioned to make further progress in 2014."

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