Johnston Press reports 39% growth in digital users after new website rollout

Publishing company Johnston Press has revealed a 39 percent increase in digital users after completing the re-launch of nearly 200 websites.

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Publishing company Johnston Press has revealed a 39 percent increase in digital users after completing the re-launch of nearly 200 websites.

“In September, the re-launch of our 196 websites was completed and our investment is starting to deliver results,” the company said in its interim management statement for the 18 weeks to 2 November 2013.

“Monthly unique digital users reached 13.7 million in October, up 39 percent year-on-year and now over a third of our users are accessing our news sites through mobile devices.”

In addition, digital revenues were up 32.8 percent compared to the same period last year, and in October were up by 44.7 percent year-on-year, Johnston Press said.

It said that the growth was underpinned by its effort to improve “group digital conversion”, which, at 49.7 percent means that nearly half of the company’s print advertisers now advertise with Johnston Press online.

In the Midlands, Johnston Press’ largest publishing unit became the first to achieve a milestone in local display advertising for September, where the growth in local digital revenues surpassed the decline in local print revenues.

Ashley Highfield, Johnston Press’ CEO, said: “Digital revenue growth remains a priority and the Midlands reaching a ‘tipping point ‘in local display advertising is a highlight for the business. It remains a key goal for the whole group to reach the point where digital growth will offset any further decline so we can return to overall top-line growth.

“With the refreshed print titles and websites, averaging monthly audiences of over 25 million, and new digital products and services, we believe that Johnston Press remains as relevant to local communities and advertisers, both local and national, as it has ever been.”

He added: “We also continue to focus on reducing our cost base whilst increasing our investment in our digital future.”

In August, Johnston Press revealed its first operating profit increase in seven years following increased investment in its digital platform.

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