The launch of The Times has helped to boost revenue of Johnnic
Communications’ media division by 15 percent to more than R1-billion, writes Robert Laing in The Times.

This is a third of the combined group’s nearly R3-billion revenue during the six months to the end of September.

Johnnic Communications released its last results yesterday before it starts trading on the JSE as Avusa from Monday.

Prakash Desai, the group chief executive officer, said: “The Times, our new daily newspaper, enjoyed immediate acceptance among readers.

“It is receiving increasing advertising support. The Sunday Times, which enjoyed strong readership growth, also increased its subscriber base by 20000 since the launch of The Times in June.”

The media segment’s operating profit, however, remained flat at R140-million, the same as in the previous year’s interim period.

“Digital online initiatives and the recently launched titles, The Weekender and The Times, had a R33-million impact on profits,” the results statement said.

Besides investment in new titles, profit growth was hit by a slowdown in advertising and increased printing and distribution costs.

“Compared to last year, when advertising revenues grew by 22 percent, growth in the half-year was restricted to single digits,” the results said.

Click here to read the full report, posted on