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INM directors saw salaries fall by 10pc

DIRECTORS at Independent News & Media (INM), the publisher of this newspaper, saw their salaries fall last year following the introduction of a 10pc pay cut.

Chief executive Gavin O'Reilly had his salary cut to €877,000 last year from €978,000 the previous year.

Fees paid to non-executive directors fell as several directors retired and new directors were appointed. The total paid to non-executive directors last year tumbled to €401,000 from €516,000 the previous year.

The reduction in payments to the chief executive and non-executive directors came at a difficult time for the publishing company which struggled to renegotiate debt repayments with bond holders for several months.

The company reached an agreement this year which resolved many of the problems and led Gavin O'Reilly to say last month that INM was poised to turn a corner this year.

"In last year's annual report, our outgoing chief executive, Sir Anthony O'Reilly, surmised that 2009 would be one of the toughest years ever in the history of the group," INM chairman Brian Hillery said.

"That was certainly the reality for any company seeking to refinance in the midst of the worst credit crisis in living memory.


"In the interim, we have successfully completed our refinancing and with it enhanced your group's financial stability and its future prospects."

Former chief executive Sir Anthony O'Reilly received total pay of €2.9m last year compared with €1.5m the previous year. Last year's pay included a "compensation payment" of €1.4m following his retirement and €1m in pension contributions, the company said in its annual report. Sir Anthony retired last May.

Sir Anthony, who was the largest shareholder in the company last year and who took the Independent Group from being the owner a small Dublin newspaper to owning a chain of successful newspapers with operations in the UK, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, now serves as president emeritus of the company.

He received €32,000 in secretarial services last year as well as €349,000 for financial advice as the company held discussions with bond holders, the annual report added.

Irish Independent