Johnston Press celebrates a 16% increase in profits

LONDON – Johnston Press, the regional newspaper publisher, says its first-half pre-tax profits rose 16% to £77.3m thanks to a strong demand for advertising.

The company, which owns titles such as the Yorkshire Post and Sheffield Star, said its turnover increased 5% to £261.2m for the six months to June 30.

Advertising revenue grew by 6%, with every category showing growth. Employment advertising was the strongest sector, climbing 13%.

Tim Bowdler, the chief executive of Johnston Press, said: "We have made a good start to the second half. While we expect continued advertising revenue growth, the rate of increase is likely to slow because of the stronger comparatives in the second half of 2003."

Johnston Press also owns The Blackpool Gazette, Doncaster Star and The Lancashire Evening News and recently launched 12 titles.

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