Wednesday, March 25, 2015

News: National titles to be printed in Rotherham

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Johnston Press, one of the largest local newspaper publishers in the UK, has secured a multimillion pound deal to print Express Newspapers' north of England titles at its Dinnington facility in Rotherham.

Headquartered in Edinburgh, Johnston Press operates a £60m printing facility on the site of the former Dinnington Colliery in Rotherham. The company, which is behind local titles such as The Yorkshire Post and The Star, will print the Daily Express, Daily Star, Sunday Express and Daily Star Sunday, with the first issues rolling off the Dinnington presses in July as part of a five year deal.

The titles are currently printed by their owners, Northern & Shell Media Group at Broughton Printers in Preston.

David Crow, MD Group Services Division (Print & Logistics), at Johnston Press, said: "We are delighted by this significant deal and thrilled to have these prestigious titles in our print portfolio. This new contract underpins the exacting levels of service we can offer customers."

Ashley Highfield, chief executive at Johnston Press, said: "This new contract is testament to the quality of service provided by the highly trained teams at our printing sites and demonstrates the faith other media groups have in our ability to deliver exceptional quality products.

"Congratulations to the team for securing such a prestigious contract."

The new deal comes two years after News International paid Johnston Press £10m to terminate a lucrative contract. Now trading as News UK, News International is part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and is home to some of the biggest and most popular British newspapers including The Times and The Sun. The termination followed a similar £30m negotiation in 2012, following the closure of the News of the World.

A 15 year deal between News International and Johnston Press was announced in 2004, extending previous contractual agreements, and was integral to an additional investment of around £20m in the Dinnington facilities that opened in 2007.

The printing facility at Dinnington has state-of-the-art facilities including one of the most modern and fastest presses in the world. It has the capacity to print 192 pages in full colour, 120,000 newspapers an hour in full colour and 75 titles per week.

Johnston Press today reported its financial results for the year which showed that operating profit was up 2.8% to £55.5m with revenues down 4.4% to £265.9m. Underlying profit before tax increased 235.1% to £29.9m from £8.9m.

The group's printing business operates out of three sites in Portsmouth, Dinnington and Carn. With the continuing reduction of press availability in the industry the group has strengthened its position in the contract print market. The state-of-the-art presses continue to perform at optimum quality and produce print products with increasing efficiency.

Major customers include Local World, Tindle Newspapers, Times Educational, Guardian Media Group, Trinity Mirror, as well as many niche publications. Johnston Press believes that the print sites are well placed geographically to meet publisher's distribution requirements with integrated logistics services.

Johnston Press website

Images: Johnston Press

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