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Johnston Press has recorded a drop in revenue and operating profit, both before non-recurring items, in the first half of 2012.

According to its interim report for the 26 weeks ending 30 June, the publisher reported an 8.2 per cent decline in revenue, from £191.8 million to £176.1 million.

Print advertising revenue fell by 12.5 per cent, from £111.3 million to £97.4 million.

It also recorded an 8.7 per cent fall in operating profit (before non-recurring items) from £33.3 million to £30.4 million. Pre-tax profit also fell by 1.4 per cent to £13.6 million.

The report is said to include "the previously announced receipt of £30 million from News International" which has helped to reduce "net debt still further". The sum was for the termination of print contracts at two of Johnston Press's print facilities.

Taking into account non-recurring items operating profit grew by 16 per cent to £37.8 million.

Overall digital revenues were also said to have increased by 8.4 per cent to £10.3 million, compared to £9.5 million.

Local digital display revenue grew period-on-period by 43.8 per cent, according to today's interim report, while digital property revenues also grew by 25.2 per cent.

And digital traffic was also on the up, with a reported increase in monthly visitors of 100 per cent since December 2011.

"Overall digital revenue grew to £10.3 million but this growth was constrained by the knock-on-effect of subdued print employment activity on the digital recruitment product revenue."

In the report chief executive Ashley Highfield adds that the publisher "is committed to transforming its business to appeal to a new online audience whilst refreshing its print titles to continue to appeal to its heartland readership.

"In this integrated print/digital world, we believe we are the true home of ‘local, social, mobile’ and our trusted brands (across paid for print and online) have increased their reach in the last year by 26.0 per cent, with growth in online and in mobile substantially exceeding the relatively small decline in print reach.

"This provides us with further opportunities to monetise this platform in the future."

Johnston Press also reported restructuring costs, including redundancy costs, of £10.8 million for the first half of 2012, compared to £4.3 million in the whole of 2011.

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