Johnston Press has reported a 7.1% fall in ad revenues for the 18 weeks to 8 May on a like-for-like basis, according to an Interim Management Statement today. The company said: "Within this overall advertising performance we have seen digital revenues over the 18 weeks increase by 12.3%. Advertising over the first Quarter was fairly stable. However, performance in April was a little more subdued, primarily due to the General Election. We would expect the Election's impact to continue through the second Quarter and therefore not see any significant improvements in the current trend until Q3 2010. "Management of costs and cash continue to be key areas of focus for the Group and we expect to make total year‑on‑year cost savings in 2010 of at least £15 million, an increase from the previously advised £10 million. Net debt at the end of April 2010 was £419.1 million, a reduction of £3.0 million from the start of the year. "Despite the slightly softer advertising performance anticipated in the second quarter, we expect our continued management of costs to produce full year results in line with current market expectations."
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