?1,000 invested in Independent 30 years ago now worth ?167,000
SHANE ROSS SHARES in Independent News and Media shot up 8¢ to a year's high after the AGM on Friday. At the meeting, the chairman and chief executive Sir Anthony O'Reilly revealed that the Group had no plans for major capital investment in the next five years.
Sir Anthony told a packed shareholders' meeting in Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel that the balance sheet of the company had been fortified by ?256m with the successful ?103m rights issue, the ?88m gained in the disposal of the regional newspapers in the UK and the sale of ?65m APN convertible notes.
Only three shareholders spoke at a meeting where the chairman announced the appointment of Baroness Jay, former Leader of the House of Lords and UK Minister for Women, as a director of the Group and the retirement of seven directors, including long-time board member Jim McCarthy, the businessman and world-famous former rugby international.
Last year, profit before tax (excluding exceptionals) increased by 8 per cent, despite a challenging environment. According to Sir Anthony, "Each of our main geographic regions showed operating profit increases in their local currencies and we gained market share in readership, advertising and circulation, at a time when our peers recorded significant losses."