In recent years, Johnston Press hasn’t often been the subject of good financial news. The company, which is the UK’s second-largest regional newspaper publisher, announced a yearly pre-tax loss of £144 million in April, cut 670 jobs – 11.3% of its staff – last year, and has seen the book value of its papers fall from $907 million in 2010 to £742.8 million in December 2011.
Yet on several occasions Johnston Press CEO Ashley Highfield has maintained that all the company’s newspapers are profitable. In January this year, he told In Publishing “every newspaper in the group has a healthy margin over 20 per cent.”
Now Patrick Smith at The Media Briefing has examined this claim and has found that profits are indeed relatively high at one “JP title, typical of many of its 175 weeklies.” Smith keeps the name and region of the paper anonymous, but he specifies that its circulation is around 10,000 per issue.