independent

Friday 18 April 2014

INM in ‘much better place this year’ – chairman

INDEPENDENT News & Media is in a “much better place” now than it was at the middle of this year, as the company works to reduce its debts and consolidate its business.

Speaking at the firm’s annual general meeting this morning, INM chairman Leslie Buckley said the company’s debt reduction plan was “progressing apace” and the business was now “well positioned” to benefit from an economic recovery in Ireland.

The company is in the process of reducing its debts from some €422m at the end of last year to about €118m by the end of 2013.

INM will also be boosted by changes being made at the Australasian media group APN, in which INM has a 29pc stake.

“I believe your company’s main interests are now well positioned for an island of Ireland recovery and to benefit from any uplift arising from the ongoing repositioning at APN which has an attractive portfolio of publishing, radio, outdoor and digital assets,” Mr Buckley told shareholders.

Company chief executive Vincent Crowley and chief financial officer Eamonn O’Kennedy meanwhile “have the benefit of a united and supportive Board and with the right mix of skills, expertise and experience to provide valuable insight and support to the management team,” the chairman added.

Giving his operational review of the business, Mr Crowley paid tribute sacrifices made by staff, particularly in relation to reforms of the group pension scheme.

He said the restructuring of the scheme was “very difficult, particularly for the staff”.

All resolutions were passed at the meeting, the company said today.

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