INM targets acquisitions to build value
Using its strong balance sheet to make acquisitions is the best way to build value for Independent News & Media's (INM) shareholders, chief executive Robert Pitt has said.
Speaking at the company's AGM in Dublin last Thursday, Mr Pitt said targeted acquisitions will diversify the media group's revenue base for the future.
INM is Ireland's leading media business, publishing titles including the market-leading Sunday Independent, Irish Independent and independent.ie.
In guidance, INM's board said it anticipates profit before tax performance for the full year to be within the range of market expectations.
Revenue at INM rose last year for the first time in eight years, shareholders heard at the meeting, which was chaired by senior independent director Jerome Kennedy. Total revenue grew strongly in the first four months of this year, boosted by its distribution arm, the company said.
However, advertising revenue has suffered a decline, Mr Pitt said.
The four months to the end of April saw continued strong growth in digital advertising revenue, but not enough to fully offset an accelerated decline in print advertising revenue, INM said in a trading statement.
Management believes the group continues to outperform the market in both advertising and circulation categories and continues to grow its market share, the company said.
"We are back in growth," Robert Pitt told shareholders, adding that the business faces challenges in a "positive way".
"The challenging market conditions against which INM achieved a strong performance in 2015 have, as anticipated, continued into 2016 with the print advertising market experiencing ongoing volatility," INM chairman Leslie Buckley said in a note read to shareholders.
Sunday Indo Business