07 December 2017


Johnston Press has announced that I newspaper is trading in line with its ambitious plan, with EBITDA in September, October and November averaging £1 million per month, for the first time since acquisition.

Johnston Press purchased the title for £24m in April 2016 from The Independent*, part of ESI Media. Prior to acquisition, the i newspaper delivered annual EBITDA of £5.2m on revenues of £26.1m for the year ended 27 September 2015.

In Johnston Press' Q3 '17 trading update in November, it announced total like-for-like revenues for the i increasing 17% in the quarter (with print advertising up 14% year on year). The i newspaper's increased revenues and improved profit margin is the result of the Johnston Press management's strategy of investing in improved content under editor Oly Duff's clear leadership, increased brand awareness, distribution, and advertiser solutions, while delivering efficiencies.

Over the last nineteen months, there has been a significant investment in the editorial team, with further roles planned for Q1 of 2018, including a Policy Editor with a Brexit focus and inews.co.uk Head of Audience Development - bringing the headcount up to sixty-six.  Alongside this investment, Johnston Press has taken steps to maximise the value and appeal of the brand to both print and digital audiences. This included a relaunch of its Saturday offering in September, with a fresh new iweekend product, which is now attracting 12,000 additional readers each week compared to pre-launch.

Under Johnston Press, the i newspaper's market share of main news advertisers has seen growth of 2%; from 20% during the pre-acquisition period of January - November 2015 to 22% in January - November 2017 (addynamix). Total print and digital advertising revenue has grown 17%, year-on-year for January - November 2017.

Since acquisition, the Monday to Friday cover price has risen from 40p to 60p, with iweekend now at 80p, continuing to offer exceptional value. Circulation has remained steady at 266,000, verified by the Audit Bureau of Circulation Data.  The i newspaper's market share among the quality newspapers has increased from 17.5% at acquisition to 20%; a significant achievement for a 7-year-old title, in an established market.