The performance of the Group for the first half was ahead of our expectations with good progress being made on our strategic initiatives which has delivered improved revenue trends and strong growth in digital audience. Revenue fell by 2.3% compared to a decline of 6.0% for 2013. Encouragingly these trends improved as we progressed through the first half with a revenue decline of 3.3% in January and February, 2.4% in March and April and 1.4% in May and June. For the Publishing division, revenue fell by £7.2 million with Print revenue falling by a much reduced 4.3% to £266.7 million with strong growth of 47.5% in digital revenue to £14.9 million.
The benefit of structural cost savings of £6 million and cost mitigation actions has contributed to operating costs falling by £5.7 million. This was after increased investment in digital of £3 million and inflationary cost increases, in particular newsprint prices which increased in the first half by over 10% year on year.
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