Ad revenue grows at Independent News & Media
Independent News & Media (INM) has reported 2.9pc growth in advertising revenue for the first half of 2015.
Shares in the company jumped more than 5pc on Friday after the media group's half year results showed digital advertising revenue was up 43.8pc, more than offsetting a marginal decline in print advertising revenue.
INM - which owns the Sunday Independent, the Sunday World, the Irish Independent, the Herald, the Belfast Telegraph and Independent.ie - achieved a 13.5pc increase in pre-tax profits for the period, some €15.1m.
"The first half of 2015 has been very satisfactory for Independent News & Media, both from an operational perspective - where we have seen a continued strong performance across our titles - and from a financial perspective, where we have made significant progress in addressing legacy balance sheet issues," said INM chief executive Robert Pitt.
INM connects with 2.5 million readers every week through its print and online titles, latest figures show. The Sunday Independent accounts for 65pc of the quality Sunday newspaper market and the Irish Independent controls 50pc of the quality daily newspaper market. In Northern Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph continues to hold the number one position within the local daily newspaper market.
On the digital side, total page impressions grew by 20.7pc year-on-year to 625 million in the first half of the year while traffic to the relaunched Independent.ie app jumped to 55 million screen views in June 2015 from 21 million a year earlier.
Independent.ie remains Ireland's top site for news, according to ComScore, and is set to deliver over 1 billion page impressions in 2015.
The company cleared its debt completely during the first six months of the year after selling its stake in the Australian media group APN. As a result, INM now has net cash of €35.4m.
That gives the company the ability to start assessing takeover targets - but Pitt said the firm would only move if there was a clear business case to do so.
The second half of the year has started well and the company anticipates a full-year performance in line with expectations, Pitt added. In other developments, an editorial graduate scheme was started earlier this month with practical training support supplied by London's Press Association.
Sunday Indo Business