INM poised to gain from economic growth, says analyst
INDEPENDENT News and Media (INM) is well placed to benefit from growth in the Irish economy next year, Royal Bank of Scotland analyst Paul Gooden said in a report yesterday.
The analyst updated his growth forecasts for the publisher of this newspaper "to reflect the flurry of recent activity" which has seen the company reach deals with bondholders, issue 50 million new shares, sell the London-based 'Independent' as well as a stake in Indian media company Jagran.
The upbeat comments follow a separate conference hosted by Morgan Stanley this week which saw bullish statements from media companies which have been battered by the recession but are now poised for growth.
"INM is becoming increasingly investible given its recent balance sheet activity," Mr Gooden wrote yesterday.
The company is now "becoming a simpler story -- a play on the Irish and South African media markets".
INM has market-leading positions in those two newspaper markets and is taking share in each market, he noted.
The company also owns close to one-third of APN News & Media, which is a major player in Australia and New Zealand.
Advertising will fall 10pc in Ireland this year but is likely to stabilise next year, which makes INM a speculative buy, Mr Gooden added.
INM said separately that it had appointed former editor Karl Brophy as director of corporate affairs and content development.
The 35-year-old will join the group's executive committee in January.
Mr Brophy worked in South Africa from 2002 to 2007 where he launched the successful 'Daily Voice' newspaper and was later a partner in Hume Brophy, which lobbies on behalf of clients in Dublin and Brussels.
"Karl's experience belies his relative youth," said INM chief executive Gavin O'Reilly.
"He is a successful former editor and a well-respected corporate and government affairs professional, who has worked across several international markets. He brings great vision, application and talent to our operations."