Leading local media group Johnston Press (LON:JPR) is trading up 17 percent this morning, after strong financial results and the announcement of their acquisition of the i newspaper.
The Group saw adjusted profit ruse 22.6 percent to £31.5 million, with net debt falling £14.8 million. In line with analysts’ expectations, adjusted EBITDA was at £57.3 million.
Ashley Highfield, chief executive, commented:
“We have reduced costs to maintain profitability, reset our portfolio and refocused on priority markets with attractive audiences that offer the best opportunity for growth.”
However, the second quarter was impacted by a sector-wide slowdown which continued through the second half and into 2016.
In a statement, Johnston Press also confirmed their acquisiton on the i newspaper, as approved at the general shareholder meeting on 21 March, with an 99.85 percent vote in favour. Highfield commented:
“The acquisition of the i newspaper is also incredibly exciting for us. It gives us scale, with a combined JP plus i daily print circulation of over 600,000 papers making us the UK’s 4th largest news publisher.”
The Group saw digital audience grew by 40.7 percent year on year, with total digital revenues up 12.4 percent to £30.6 million for the period.