Papers update

Advertising slump hits profits at Scotsman owner

Scotsman cover
National World owns The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post

A fall in advertising revenue together with increased investment in brands led to a fall in profit and revenue at the publisher of The Scotsman titles.

Adjusted pre-tax profit at National World, owner of newspapers and websites across the UK, fell to £3.2 million in the half year to 1 July compared with £5.6m last year. Revenue came in 4% lower at £41.6m against £43.5m last time.

Digital revenue grew 9% year-on-year to £8.9 million. The group has delivered average monthly page views of 141 million in the first half, a 21% year-on-year improvement. Video advertising continues to be an area of growth, with revenues up 67% and total video views of 275 million in the first half, a 49% year-on-year improvement.

The Group has relaunched some of its key brands in both print and digital products in the first half including The Scotsman app. The Scotsman‘s print sale is 8,762, about half of which are subscriptions.

The board said the company is poised to benefit in the second half from at least three of its key elements – the acquired businesses, new launches and relaunches of heritage brands and video and TV expansion. The board confirms its view that the business will perform in line with expectation for the full year.

The five acquisitions bring in around £7 million of additional revenue and are expected to contribute £1 million of EBITDA this year. A number of potential further acquisitions have been identified.

Chairman, David Montgomery, said: The company has successfully commenced the journey to revenue growth in the first half.

“Measures to deliver a sustainable multi-platform business continued apace despite the downturn in the advertising market.

“Five acquisitions in the period and improvements in newly launched online brands are replacing lost revenue from heritage assets and we now expect overall revenues for 2023 to exceed last year.

“Strong growth, particularly in video revenue, as well as the accelerated implementation of an innovative operating model will contribute to the delivery of full year profits in line with expectations.”

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