Johnston Press profits fall 56%

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The Independent Online

Media Staff at Johnston Press are braced for further job cuts after the regional publisher's profits fell by half in the 53 weeks to 2 January.

The group, which publishes newspapers including The Scotsman, yesterday posted a pre-tax profit of £43m. Total revenues fell almost a fifth to £428m as it struggled to deal with the stark recession in the advertising market. The group cut more than 750 employees last year and shut titles.

In an attempt to raise revenues it also tried charging readers for online content. However, the group pointed out that the rate of decline in the advertising market was slowing, as it fell almost 34 per cent in the first quarter and 11.2 per cent in the fourth. The group also cut net debt by £55.3m to £442m over the year.