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Shares in Johnston Press drop 13.6% after delay in publication of accounts

SHARES in Edinburgh-based newspaper publisher Johnston Press plunged 13.6% after it delayed publication of its annual results pending the outcome of talks to renew its debt.

The owner of the Scotsman and Yorkshire Post newspapers had been due to unveil its figures for 2011 to the City on April 3 but with just days to go, pushed this back to April 25.

It said: "The company has been in constructive discussions with its lenders regarding the extension of its credit facilities for a further three years from their current maturity on September 30, 2012, and will provide a further update to the market as part of the preliminary results announcement." Investors sent shares in Johnston Press, which owns 18 daily newspapers and 245 weekly newspapers, down 1.03p, or 13.6%, to 6.5p.

This left the company, which was once valued at as much as £1 billion, with a market worth of £41.6 million.

Johnston Press has a debt pile of around £357m, down from around £500m at its peak.

In November, Johnston Press started talks to refinance its debt under the leadership of new chief executive, former Microsoft executive Ashley Highfield.

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