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Irish Press posts pre-tax of £156,000

IRISH Press plc, the principal remaining company of the Irish Press Group of newspapers which closed in 1995, managed to turn in a solid profit for the year ended March 31 last.

The pre-tax profits of £156,000 on turnover of £201,000 showed a marked turnaround on the loss of £396,000 in the previous year.

Profit of £330,000 from the disposal of investments and income from investments of £133,000 were the principal reasons for the recovery into profits, as the company had incurred a trading loss after administrative expenses of £288,000.

Chairman Vincent Jennings tells shareholders in the annual report that the results for the year show a full year's trading of Thom's Directories.

Irish Press bought Thom's Directories for £355,000 in October 1999 despite shareholder criticism at the agm about the group's strategy. "The sale of the directories has been in line with expectations and the further development of the directories in electronic form such as the internet is receiving ongoing consideration," Mr Jennings says.

The profits were made after charging £115,000 in payments to the company's three directors, Eamonn de Valera, J A Lenehan and Mr Jennings.

Irish Press is also pressing ahead with its legal action in the High Court against US investment banker E M Warburg Pincus & Co, and is seeking substantial damages based on the representations made in relation to the investment by Ingersoll in the Irish Press newspaper group.

The company also has a 30pc stake in County Tipperary Radio Ltd that operates Tipp FM which is hoping for an extension of its licence in the new round.

The agm is being held in the Davenport Hotel on December 3.

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