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Ireland's biggest publisher has finally stopped getting smaller

Independent News and Media has turned around its revenue after eight years.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Updated 15.51

AFTER YEARS OF watching its newspapers’ sales and revenues decline, Ireland’s largest publisher is growing again.

Independent News and Media (INM) this morning reported its first increase in revenue for eight years, with higher digital ad sales making up for lower newspaper and print advertising income.

During the 10 months to the end of October, INM said its total revenue was up over 1%. The company’s digital ads brought in 43% more than for the same period in 2014, offsetting the slide in its print business.

It reported an unspecified level of growth in its pre-tax profits amid “tight control over operating costs” and the recently announced shutdown of its GrabOne voucher business.

In August INM revealed it was shutting down its Belfast printing operations with the potential loss of 89 jobs. The company spent a total of €9.3 million on redundancies in 2014.

Its flagship mastheads, the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent, have been dropping in circulation at slower rates than their rivals over the past year, but sales of the Sunday World have been in freefall.

The company said several advertising segments had shown improved results over the past year, including property and magazines.

In a briefing note, Davy analyst Robert Stokes said INM’s decision earlier this year to strike a long-term commercial deal with the Irish Times had “clearly been a positive” for the publisher.

That agreement involved the Times printing INM-affiliated tabloids the Sunday World and Irish Daily Star, while INM handled distribution of the national broadsheet through its Newspread operation.

First published 10.42am

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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