Thomas Crosbie Holdings posts operating loss of €2.95m in 2009
ONE of the biggest media companies in the country posted multimillion euro losses last year.
Thomas Crosbie Holdings (TCH), parent of the 'Irish Examiner' and 'Sunday Business Post' newspapers, posted an operating loss before interest and taxation of €2.95m in 2009 on the back of turnover which fell from €106m to €82.5m.
The net loss is expected to be much higher after exceptional items, however.
The operating loss was much worse than 2008, when it was only €76,000. The company's share of losses in associated businesses widened from €60,000 to €1.7m.
The group also said it was taking a "brand impairment charge" of €30.1m, writing down the value of brands acquired since 1995.
TCH said the move was "consistent with the impairment charges experienced by all other major media companies" here.
Staff was reduced by 91 during the year while the cost of a "fundamental reorganisation" totalled €32.2m
Directors' remuneration fell by €300,000 to €1m while the dividend was cut by more than two-thirds to €1.12m.
TCH interim chief executive Tom Murphy said 2009 had been a very difficult year.
"Newspaper advertising revenues across all sectors and titles have experienced declines fundamentally as a result of the stagnation and decline of economic activity in Ireland," he said.
"[We expect] to be loss-making in 2010 but on completion of cost-reduction programmes we expect that the savings combined with revenue generating initiatives will return [the group] to profitability in 2011.
"These operating losses and the investment in cost-reduction programmes are being funded out of TCH's own cash reserves," he added.
TCH has already implemented pay freezes and pension cuts in recent months.
In September staff at 'Irish Examiner' were told their pensions could be cut by 50pc, while the 'Sunday Business Post' staff have had their pay cut twice in a year.