The trading environment has, as anticipated, remained challenging for print advertising during the period. We continue to make progress against our strategy and at this stage, the Board anticipates performance* for the year to be in line with market expectations.
Group revenue fell by 16% over the period. On a like for like** basis Group revenue fell by 9% which is in line with the trends experienced in the first two months of the year.
Within this, Publishing revenue fell by 9% on a like for like basis, with print declining by 12% and digital growing by 6%. Publishing print advertising revenues fell by 19% and circulation revenues fell by 6%.
We continue to grow our digital audience with digital display and transactional revenue growing by 19%. Digital classified advertising, which is predominantly upsold from print, remains challenging and fell by 24%.
"Whilst the trading environment for print remains challenging we continue to make progress on our strategic objectives of Grow, Build and Protect. I am particularly pleased that we continue to see good growth in digital display and transactional revenue and tightly manage costs which gives confidence in our performance for the year."
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Simon Fox, Chief Executive
Vijay Vaghela, Group Finance Director
Mike Smith, Partner
William Medvei, Director
The statement on future performance is given as at the date of this announcement and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties and actual results and events could differ materially from those currently being anticipated as reflected in the statement. The Company undertakes no obligation to update this forward-looking statement.
* On an adjusted basis excluding non-recurring items, restructuring charges in respect of cost reduction measures, the amortisation of intangible assets, the pension administrative expenses, the retranslation of foreign currency borrowings, the impact of fair value changes on derivative financial instruments, the pension finance charge and the impact of tax legislation changes.
** The like for like trends for 2017 exclude from the 2016 comparative: the extra week of trading in 2016, the Independent print and distribution contract which ceased in