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Publisher reveals millions of pounds saved by localisation drive

David MontgomeryA regional publisher’s drive to localise its management structure has saved £4m, the company has reported.

JPIMedia owner National World has also revealed it is set to trial a new subscription platform for premium content payment on a daily basis, while a total of 34 of its titles will offer digital subscription options.

The company has embarked on a drive to localise its management structure since National World took over the group in January, which prompted the departure of a number of senior executives.

Around 40 new editors have since been appointed to individual titles following the creation of seven regional media units within the company, with hundreds of staff being redeployed to new roles as a result.

In a trading update issued this morning, National World said the “delayering and flattening” of management structures had delivered annualised savings of £4m net of National World management costs.

The group says it is set to deliver at least £5m of annualised savings during 2021 with restructuring costs of around £4m.

Revenue for the first quarter of 2021 fell by 18pc year-on-year, although it increased by an estimated 18pc for April and May compared with the same months in 2020.

Print advertising and circulation revenue were estimated to have fallen by 10pc during the period, with advertising revenue growth of 34pc during April and May.

Digital advertising revenue is believed to have grown by 1pc during the period, with growth of 45pc across April and May, while digital subscription revenue tripled to £0.6m during the period.

Content provision revenues from Google and Facebook have generated around £100,000 per month from February 2021, according to the company.

National World has also reiterated its strategy of seeking further acquisitions and investments.

Chairman David Montgomery, pictured, said: “The many talented staff of JPI Media have assisted in a fast transformation of the business based on localisation with a focus on relevant content and supporting the communities served as they recover from lockdown.

“This transition and further investment in technology and partnerships have prepared National World for the next stage of rapid organic growth.

“Our target to double our online audience by the second half of next year is underpinned by providing quality content consistent with our existing premium brands across both a local and national footprint.

“We continue to evaluate investment and acquisition opportunities that would enhance our digital capabilities.”