Saturday 20 December 2014

INM posts profit of €32.7m in 2013

Published 13/03/2014 | 07:16

INDEPENDENT News & Media has posted an operating profit of €32.7m, pre-exceptionals, for the year ended December 2013.

And a better second half revenue trend has further extended into 2014, the media company said today.

The operating profit was in line with 2012 levels and a 6.6pc drop in revenues to €322.4m was offset by a strict cost-cutting programme and restructuring.

Operating costs, pre-exceptionals, were reduced by €22.7m.

Net debt was cut by €327.1m to €95.3m.

On a sector basis, digital revenue growth was 12pc to €9.3m in the year end and is up 14.6pc year-to-date with the rate of decline in print revenue slowing further.

Leslie Buckley, INM chairman and Vincent Crowley, INM chief executive - shares in INM increased by 6pc, up to 12 cent. Photo: Frank McGrath

Vincent Crowley, group chief executive at INM, said: "2013 was a defining year for INM," he said.

"The group's balance sheet has been significantly restructured and INM now has the capital structure to support our continued repositioning and ongoing digital investment programme.

"We continue to experience a relative improvement in advertising trends. The rate of decline in print advertising revenue has slowed further, with revenues down 2.8pc year-to-date."

Mr Crowley added that the company will continue to look at ways to cut costs on an ongoing basis.

INM titles include the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent and The Herald while the digital platform involves sites like Independent.ie and GrabOne.

During the year, the company also sold its South African business, restructured its defined benefit pension scheme and had a share placement last December.

Davy Stockbrokers said: "Current trading is encouraging and ahead of forecast; print advertising revenue is down 2.8pc year-to-date, while digital is up 14.6pc.

"Mindful of comments on visibility, we will make small upgrades to full-year forecasts – the direction rather than quantum of upgrade is more important at this point in time."

Billionaire businessman Denis O'Brien is the largest shareholder shareholder in INM followed by Dermot Desmond.

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