Irish Times pays €11m as part of pension deal
The company behind 'The Irish Times' newspaper will pay €11m over seven years to enhance transfer values for employees moving from the firm's defined benefit scheme to defined contribution pensions.
The Irish Times Limited closed its defined benefit pension in March this year as well as a separate scheme for senior management. Those moves have helped eliminate the deficit on the group balance sheet.
Irish Times managing director Liam Kavanagh said advertising had been "strong in the first four or five months of the year and we expect a good finish".
"I'm hopeful we will be profitable, unless there is a macro economic event," he told the Irish Independent.
Mr Kavanagh said the pension scheme changes "have taken a lot of risk out".
He was speaking after the publication of accounts for The Irish Times Limited which showed pre-tax profits drop to €2.1m from €5.4m a year earlier.
The drop was due mainly to the absence of an exceptional gain of some €2m the year previously. Revenues fell marginally to €86.9m.
The company said advertising revenue grew by 0.6pc, but newspaper sales declined.
"Circulation revenue reduced by 6.2pc," 'The Irish Times' said.
Contract print revenue, however, rose 6pc thanks to contracts acquired in 2013.
Staff at 'The Irish Times' earned an average salary of more than €69,000 in 2014.
Wages and salary for the 407 staff at the company came in at €28.1m, according to the company's accounts for 2014.
That was an average of €69,002 per person - down marginally year on year.
The figures include the €270,000 salary of managing director Liam Kavanagh. Editor Kevin O'Sullivan was paid €240,000.
Independent News & Media (INM), the parent company of this newspaper, has agreed a deal with 'The Irish Times' which sees the Times print the 'Irish Daily Star' and 'Sunday World'.
INM's Newspread business, meanwhile, will manage distribution of 'The Irish Times'.