Johnston Press profits slump

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The Independent Online

Johnston Press, the publisher of 250 regional newspapers, saw its underlying first-half profits plunge by 49 per cent cent to £8.06m as advertising revenues slumped.

The group, which owns the Scotsman and Yorkshire Post, said that its operating profits over the period to 30 June were up 16 per cent to £37.8m, but this included a £30m boost from a one-off payment from News International, the publisher of The Times and Sun, after it partially ended a printing deal.

Ashley Highfield, the chief executive, is looking to focus the group away from print to online. Digital revenues rose 8 per cent to £10.3m.