De Valera gets ?116,198 Press dividend
IRISH Press plc is to pay a dividend of 25 cent a share, or a total of ?216,000, with the lion's portion of ?116,198 being paid to majority shareholder and managing director Eamon de Valera.
Management at Irish Press plc received a pay increase of just over 13pc for the nine months to the end of March, with the accounts detailing a payment of ?112,000 for management services to the group of companies.
According to the report, the group has just three directors - Vincent Jennings acting as chairman, Eamon de Valera as managing director, and a third director, JA Lenehan.
The payments are for the nine months to the end of March 2003, during which the group had an ?803,000 loss. In the previous year the group saw a ?5.77m profit, due mainly to the settlement of its action against EM Warburg Pincus & Co and related entities for ?7.6m.
Eamon de Valera and Vincent Jennings have both presided over the affairs of the company since the 1980s.
Among the liabilities shown in this year's accounts is a ?1.27m loan from Independent News & Media, which is secured over the assets of Irish Press Publications, the company which published the Irish Press, Evening Press and Sunday Press until their demise in 1995. The loan, taken out shortly before the collapse of the Press titles, is due within one year, according to the accounts and has accrued an interest bill of ?682,000.
The report states that the assets of Irish Press Publications are stated in the accounts with a book value of nil.
In his chairman's statement, Mr Jennings notes that the directors "are anxious to continue paying dividends", but that reduced returns from dividends and investments make this a difficult policy to maintain.
Irish Press plc holds a controlling 59pc stake in local radio station County Tipperary Radio Limited, which trades as TippFM, and also owns Thom's Directory. During the period covered by the accounts the board decided to consolidate the accounts of County Tipperary Radio Limited within the group accounts.
During the period, the group reported turnover of ?1.3m and investment income of ?493,000.
However, after an exceptional item relating to the writedown in value of quoted investments, together with the dividend payment, the accounts show a retained loss of ?803,000.