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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

'PETERTORYGRAPH' PUBLISHER IN SHARE SLIDE




Shares in Johnston Press [JP], the local newspaper publishing group (and publishers of the weekly Peterborough Telegraph) have dived more than 16per cent as JP warned that full-year profits would be hit after advertising sales 'declined more sharply than expected' in the first half of the year.


The company, which owns titles including The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post, said in a trading update that total revenues for the first six months of the year would be down 5pc on last year.


That compares with a drop of 4.3per cent in the first half of 2014.

Ashley Highfield, chief executive, said the company had suffered around the General Election, when there were reports of advertisers holding back spending.

 “Trading conditions in the first half of 2015 have undoubtedly been challenging, especially in the period around the General Election - a time when there was also a high degree of uncertainty in the wider market.”

The continuing slide in sales mean first half profits will be “marginally” below last year, when Johnston Press reported an underlying profit of £6.1m and a statutory loss of £6.3m, on a turnover of £135.8m.


Analysts predicted the company will now take longer than previously forecast to pay its first dividend since 2007.   The slide in its share price means the company now has a market capitalisation of only £125.5m, which is less than the £160m it paid to acquire The Scotsman alone a decade ago.


Johnston Press publishes some 200 titles of varying scale, but all local and regional newspapers have been hit hard as classified advertising moved online to platforms such as Google and eBay. The local newspaper was also dubbed by wags as the 'Petertorygraph' as it relentlessly promoted Tory MPs and Tory Councillors as 'star columnists' much to the dismay of its readers...


Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 07:15

Johnston Press plc is issuing a trading update ahead of its 2015 interim results announcement on 11 August 2015.
The trading environment has been challenging during the first half of the year.  Although the company traded well in the first quarter, the second quarter has been impacted by a slowdown in general trading as well as specific weakness in the run up to, and the period immediately after the election. Based on most recent indicators, July is expected to show an improvement.
During the 26 weeks to 4 July 2015 ('the period') total revenue is expected to fall by approximately 5% year on year (compared to 4.3% for the first half last year, 2014). Total advertising revenue is expected to fall by some 5% (compared to 4.6% for the first half last year). In the second quarter, around the time of the election, a number of national and local advertisers chose to reduce or delay their spend in both print and online. Circulation revenue is also expected to fall by some 5.5% during the period, while circulation volumes are showing a small improvement in the decline rate. Management took action to mitigate much of the revenue reduction in the period, limiting the impact on profits.However, first half profits are likely to be marginally below last year.
Our digital audience continues to grow with average monthly unique users growing by over 20%. Digital revenues also continue to grow, and we are expecting to report growth of some 17% in the period. With pleasing growth expected from its 1XL digital advertising exchange partnership, and further digital product releases during the second half, the business expects to achieve its digital revenue growth targets.
The business continues to deliver strong cash flows, and has reduced net debt, in line with expectations.
As a result of the off-trend trading in the second quarter, the business enters the second half from a lower base than planned, and revenue trends, whilst expected to improve, may be impacted by market volatility during the rest of the year.
The group will continue to invest to drive revenue growth, but will also continue to make cost savings, to fund that investment. However, at this stage, we anticipate full year profit will be slightly below market expectations.
Ashley Highfield, Chief Executive, commented; "Trading conditions in the first half of 2015 have undoubtedly been challenging, especially in the period around the General Election - a time when there was also a high degree of uncertainty in the wider market. Whilst we expect this will have an impact on profit both at the half year and the full year, there are positive indicators coming through with digital growth and continued strong cash flow."
- See more at: http://www.johnstonpress.co.uk/investors/news/trading-update#sthash.58RNDsLV.dpuf









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OUR HUMAN RIGHT TO LAMPOON AND CRITICISE POLITICIANS

THE HIGH COURT has ruled....People have a right to lampoon and criticise politicians and public officials under the Human Rights Act, the High Court has ruled.

We have the full High Court judgment, saved as a page on here. l

ampoon (lampoon) Pronunciation: /lamˈpuːn/ verb [with object] publicly criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm: the actor was lampooned by the press noun a speech or text lampooning someone or something: the magazine fired at God, Royalty, and politicians, using cartoons and lampoons.

Derivatives: lampooner noun lampoonery noun lampoonist noun Origin: mid 17th century: from French lampon, said to be from lampons 'let us drink' (used as a refrain), from lamper 'gulp down', nasalized form of laper 'to lap (liquid).

NUJ CODE OF CONDUCT

NUJ Code of Conduct

The NUJ's Code of Conduct has set out the main principles of British and Irish journalism since 1936.

The code is part of the rules and all journalists joining the union must sign that they will strive to adhere to the it.


Members of the National Union of Journalists are expected to abide by the following professional principles:

A journalist:

1 At all times upholds and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed

2 Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair

3 Does her/his utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies

4 Differentiates between fact and opinion

5 Obtains material by honest, straightforward and open means, with the exception of investigations that are both overwhelmingly in the public interest and which involve evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforward means

6 Does nothing to intrude into anybody's private life, grief or distress unless justified by overriding consideration of the public interest

7 Protects the identity of sources who supply information in confidence and material gathered in the course of her/his work

8 Resists threats or any other inducements to influence, distort or suppress information and takes no unfair personal advantage of information gained in the course of her/his duties before the information is public knowledge

9 Produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person's age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation

10 Does not by way of statement, voice or appearance endorse by advertisement any commercial product or service save for the promotion of her/his own work or of the medium by which she/he is employed

11 A journalist shall normally seek the consent of an appropriate adult when interviewing or photographing a child for a story about her/his welfare

12 Avoids plagiarism The NUJ believes a journalist has the right to refuse an assignment or be identified as the author of editorial that would break the letter or spirit of the code.

The NUJ will fully support any journalist disciplined for asserting her/his right to act according to the code

The NUJ logo is always a link to the home page.

(As modified at Delegate Meeting 2011)