Cost cutting ahead of target at INM
INDEPENDENT News & Media reported that better-than-expected success in cost cutting in the early months of 2012 offset a small decline in revenues in the first 19 weeks of the year.
The newspaper publisher said in a statement to the stock exchange yesterday that costs fell 1.4pc in the first four months of the year while combined revenue from advertising and circulation slipped 3.5pc as the advertising market remained difficult.
Davy Stockbrokers analyst Simon McGrotty said he did not expect to alter his full-year forecasts following the statement. "Other than adjusting the mix slightly, we will not be making any change to numbers for the year," he added.
INM, which controls more than 200 newspapers in Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa, added that digital revenue rose 17.6pc in the first 19 weeks of the year. Overall advertising revenue across the company's various operations fell 5.3pc.
Trading patterns were disrupted around the Easter period but now appear to be returning to more normal trends, with some stronger advertising weeks interspersed among weaker ones, the company added.
Operating costs were down 1.4pc year-on-year despite rising energy costs across the world and steep inflation in South Africa.
"Forecasting in the current climate is very difficult and advertising remains challenging and erratic," the statement said ahead of the company's annual general meeting in June.