REFILE-Johnston Press profit falls 56 pct on lower ad revenue

Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:38am EDT

March 19 (Reuters) - British regional newspaper publisher Johnston Press Plc said full-year profit more than halved on lower advertising revenue, and added that the challenging trading environment seen in the second half of 2012 had continued into the start of this year.

The company, which publishes the Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post, said it has continued to reduce its workforce, with the number of staff employed by the group falling to just over 4,350 at the end of December, down 23.1 percent from 2011.

Total advertising revenue for the first 10 weeks of 2013 were 15.6 percent below the same period in the prior year, Johnston Press said.

Pretax profit fell to 12.6 million pounds ($19 million) on an underlying basis in the year ended Dec. 29, from 28.4 million pounds a year earlier.

Revenue fell 12 percent to 328.7 million pounds.

The group that publishes 13 daily newspapers and more than 230 weeklies, said advertising revenue declined 12.7 percent to 201.9 million pounds.

Shares in the company closed at 13.25 pence on Monday on the London Stock Exchange.