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'Irish Daily Star' profits stay above €4m

THE 'Irish Daily Star' newspaper reported a profit of over €4m last year despite the difficult economic conditions, the newspaper's parent company said yesterday.

Independent Star Limited, a joint venture between Independent News & Media and Northern Shell, said yesterday it posted an operating profit for 2010 of €4.3m, down slightly on 2009's figure of €4.8m. Revenue slipped by 5pc but costs were cut by 5.5pc.

During the year, the company paid dividends of €4.55m to its two shareholders.

Earlier this year, the company closed its 'Irish Daily Star Sunday' title after seven years. During that time it had never reached critical mass or made a profit, the company said.

Company managing director Paul Cooke was pleased with the firm's performance, despite what he called a challenging year for the business.

"Last year was a challenging one for Irish media. However. these results show 'The Star's' financial performance compares very well with its peers.

Furthermore, this performance combined with the profits reported for Independent News & Media for the first half of 2011 show that the domestic Irish newspaper sector is very much alive,'' he said.

"'The Star' itself performed particularly well in the advertising market with a year-on-year decline of only 1pc compared to a national market decline of 7pc according to the National Newspapers of Ireland statistics,'' he said. The increasing ad market share was a testament to 'The Star's' number one position in the 15-44 reader demographic combined with its almost 400,000 daily readers, he added.

Irish Independent