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01 February 2018

Ad Revenues Up By A Quarter For The i

Ad revenue increased by 26 per cent for the i newspaper in the second half of 2017 and circulation revenues were up by 19 per cent, a Johnston Press trading update for the 52 weeks to 30 December 2017 has revealed.

The relaunch of the weekend edition in September saw an average increase in circulation in the three months post relaunch of 9,000 copies, to 272,000. Digital audiences averaged over 1.4 million unique browsers per month, up 45 per cent year-on-year, the publisher said.

Digital revenues and audiences were up across the group, with revenues up by three per cent and unique users growing to an average of 25.4 million unique browsers per month, a 13 per cent increase on last year, with 108 million average page views per month, 19 per cent up on 2016.

Page views for The Belfast Newsletter were up 48 per cent; Yorkshire Evening Post by 47 per cent, Sheffield Star by 42 per cent and The Edinburgh News up 39 per cent year-on-year.

Ashley Highfield, Johnston Press chief executive, said: "We remained focused on delivering the priorities outlined to shareholders, amidst an extremely challenging trading environment. The i has delivered a very strong performance in our first full year of ownership. A slowing down of top line decline is encouraging while further growth in our audiences and digital revenues, underpinned by additional cost reduction, enabled us to maintain profit margins.

"In 2018, alongside our strategic review of financing options, we will continue to invest in the business, including recruiting 32 journalists funded by the BBC, and a further 21 editorial staff and 10 specialist digital sales staff as we seek to accelerate digital growth further while reinforcing our offering of quality, trusted content across all platforms."