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Publisher reveals plan to launch new titles in three UK cities

David MontgomeryA regional publisher has revealed plans to expand into three new cities across the UK.

National World has announced it is set to introduce more of its online-only ‘World’ titles into new local markets around the country.

The move comes after the publisher launched¬†a series of new city titles under its ‘World’ brand last year, as well as a national news website.

Its existing sites in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle have put the group in direct competition editorially with titles owned by rival publisher Reach plc.

National World has not yet revealed the new cities in which it will be launching, although HTFP has sought clarification on this point.

The expansion plan was unveiled in a trading update issued for the 21-week period to 28 May 2022, in which the company also reiterated previous assertions that it is “pursuing acquisition opportunities” elsewhere.

The update states: “Our national site, nationalworld.com, continues to deliver strong growth with monthly page views increasing to 20 million in April 2022, one year after its launch.

“As well as establishing this UK-wide footprint from a limited regional presence, National World has launched seven Metro World brands into all major centres, including London, Birmingham and Manchester. This online-only portfolio is being further extended by three cities.

“Careful cost management continues to support the group’s digital investment and helps it mitigate the impact of newsprint price rises and other inflationary cost pressures.”

The update also revealed revenue for the period was expected to grow by 4pc year-on-year, with 5pc growth in the first quarter of 2022 and growth of 1pc in April and May.

National World said digital revenue was expected to grow by 38pc year-on-year for the period, with growth of 28pc in April and May.

It added: “Whilst the war in Ukraine has created volatility in audience numbers during the period, the revenue impact has been mitigated by stronger yields and increased video advertising, (the latter almost doubling year-on-year).

“Print revenue is expected to decline by 2pc in the period with advertising revenue increasing by 3pc and circulation revenue falling by 7pc.

“A marginal decline in print revenue in the first quarter has been offset by a decline of 4pc in April and May driven by stronger comparatives last year.”

National World chairman David Montgomery, pictured, said: “We have had a robust start to 2022. Despite a more uncertain trading environment, we are accelerating our transformation into a premium content and sales business across all platforms.

“We continue to launch new products, invest in organic growth, enhance heritage assets and streamline our infrastructure to create further efficiencies.

“Management is pursuing acquisition opportunities to build scale and enhance shareholder value.”