Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 16:58 UK

Johnston Press shares fell by 40%

Johnston Press
Lack of advertising is affecting revenues at regional papers

Shares at newspaper group Johnston Press have closed down nearly 40% after it revealed it was renegotiating its financial position.

The company said it had failed to sell its Irish titles and was now in danger of breaching banking agreements.

At one point, the share price fell to 18p - less than a quarter of the cover price of the group's Scotsman title.

Johnston cut more than 1,000 jobs last year and is merging The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday newsrooms.

The company said it was now in discussions over its financial position, and that the talks had so far been constructive.

Johnston was relying on the sale of its Irish titles to strengthen its financial position. It said considerable interest had been shown, but that the board decided not to go ahead because the price was not high enough.

While our market remains fragile, we have seen some stability in advertising revenue over recent weeks
John Fry
Chief executive, Johnston Press

Three parties were thought to be in the running for the papers but their sale was not expected to achieve much more than £35.5m, just 16% of what the company paid to acquire them.

Titles in the estate include the Limerick Leader and the Tipperary Star.

There is now speculation of further job cuts at the group.

It is thought 25 jobs will go as a result of the recent announcement of the plan to merge the Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday newsrooms.

Johnston Press has been particularly hard hit by the economic downturn because it relies on local advertising in the volatile sectors of housing and employment.

The Edinburgh group said advertising revenues had continued to fall in the first 19 weeks of this year, down by 34.4% in the period to 9 May - although the group said the situation was improving.

The group's chief executive John Fry said: "While our market remains fragile, we have seen some stability in advertising revenue over recent weeks."



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Scotsman editor resigns from post
20 Feb 09 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Jobs to go in merger at Scotsman
01 May 09 |  Scotland

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific