Johnston says switch has led to sales surge

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Scotsman publisher Johnston Press has reported an increase in sales for the five local newspapers it recently switched from daily to weekly publications.

The group, which also owns Scotland on Sunday, the Edinburgh Evening News and about 250 other titles, said the newspapers, including the Halifax Courier and Peterborough Evening Telegraph, have achieved an average sales increase of 77 per cent.

At the annual meeting, chief executive Ashley Highfield, said: “These titles have reported year-on-year sales declines of approaching 10 per cent prior to relaunch but these deficits have been reversed with an underlying swing of over 93 per cent against recent figures.” He said a number of refreshed weekly titles have enjoyed average sales growth of 8 per cent, despite increases in some cover prices.

Shareholders approved all resolutions at the meeting, the remuneration report being backed by almost 94 per cent.