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Independent News & Media back in the black

Company returns to profit after selling off loss-making titles.
Aug 27th 2010, 1:20 PM 242 0

INDEPENDENT NEWS AND MEDIA has reported a return to profits for the first half of this year.

The group announced pre-tax profits of €63m from January to the end of June, up 39% compared to the same period of last year.

INM said it remains cautiously optimistic going into the second half of this year.

INM said that advertising revenues improved at different speeds in different countries, with particularly good figures in Australia. Their balance sheets were clearly boosted by the sales of the UK’s Independent and Independent on Sunday.

The shareholders had been reluctant to sell the titles, but Denis O’Brien convinced them that it was essential to the group’s growth.

O’Brien increased his stake in INM to 20%, cementing his position as the single largest shareholder.

Vincent Crowley, INM’s chief operating officer told RTÉ radio this morning that “the sale of the London Independent titles has been a good move for us.”

He said that advertising in Ireland is seeing less of a drop as the year progresses:

We’re seeing some turn, if you like, but I think it’s fair to say advertising is still down and it’s still tough, but not as tough as it was.

Speaking of the drop in sales at the Irish Independent of 3.3% between Jan and June, Crowley said it had been a “relatively modest circulation drop” in comparison with their competitors. The paper lost more readers than the Irish Times, but retains a larger readership.

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Susan Ryan


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