Monday 20 January 2020

Cuts and digital growth boost Irish Times

The Irish Times headquarters building on Tara Street, Dublin
The Irish Times headquarters building on Tara Street, Dublin

Gavin McLoughlin

The company behind the 'Irish Times' newspaper returned to profit last year.

The company posted a total operating profit of just under €1.7m for the year, saying cost-cutting and growth in digital revenue had fuelled the result.

The figure compared to a total operating loss of more than €650,000 in 2016.

Turnover fell 5pc from just over €82m to just under €78m, however, according to newly filed accounts covering the year to the end of December 2017.

Advertising revenue fell by almost 12pc, but digital revenue grew almost 9pc. Distribution costs fell from more than €9.6m to under €8m, while cost of sales fell more than €3m to €57.2m.

The newspaper has implemented a paywall strategy for its online journalism and also produces a digital edition of the paper. It said its total number of digital subscribers was more than 68,000.

"The company strategy is continually focused on sustainable profitability with investment in compelling and distinctive journalism from 'The Irish Times'," the director's report states.

"Organisational changes are continuing to enable the company to adapt to the changing market for news media consumption and to facilitate audience and revenue growth."

Earlier this week the company completed the acquisition from Landmark Media of the 'Irish Examiner', the 'Evening Echo' and a number of other media assets including stakes in radio stations Beat FM, WLR FM and Red FM.

'Irish Times' staff were told that the deal presented an opportunity to grow print advertising revenues and build a digital platform with a strong reach. Landmark CEO Tom Murphy, who exited the business following the transaction, told staff that the deal was the best way to preserve the newspaper brands.

Irish Independent

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