Total revenues for the period were down 11.4% year-on-year with total advertising revenues down 15.1%, however a slowing in the year-on-year rate of revenue declines was reported for each of the first three months of 2013.
The group said that it remained on track to reduce costs by more than £20m this year following a major restructuring of the business in 2012. A key priority for the company this year will be to continue to focus on net debt reduction, which has been helped by the £10m receipt gained from the cancellation of its remaining print contract with News International. Capital expenditure and working capital would remain tightly controlled, the company said.
Further details will be released in the company’s interim statement later this year.
As part of a restructuring of its business, Johnston Press relaunched the majority of its titles last year, with the remainder scheduled to be relaunched this June and new websites being rolled out across each brand.
Digital audience figures in April showed a 16.4% year-on-year increase, while printed circulation revenue declined by 0.8% on a like-for-like basis, actually marking an increase on 2012 figures.
The company said that provided trading did not deteriorate further, it predicted 2013 results to be in line with current market expectations.
Commenting on the interim statement Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield said: “While the economic environment continued to be challenging, the implementation of our strategy progressed further with the successful completion of the relaunch of the vast majority of our titles, together with the further development of our digital business and the roll-out of new hardware and software to all sales staff and journalists.
“With our reduced cost base and our continued focus on debt reduction, we remain on track to deliver a strong performance in 2013.”