Tuesday 20 March 2018

Digital spend puts Casey's Harmonia in the red

Norah Casey
Norah Casey

Gordon Deegan

Investment in developing digital revenues last year contributed to broadcaster Norah Casey's publishing group slipping into the red.

New accounts just filed by Harmonia Ltd show that the firm recorded a pre-tax loss of €79,272. This followed a pre-tax profit of €57,502 in 2012 - a negative swing of €136,774.

Last October, Ms Casey confirmed that she was standing down from leading the business on a day to day basis to allow her to concentrate on her media career.

However, she remains owner of the business that publishes Irish Tatler, Women's Way, U Magazine and Food & Wine and now serves as chairwoman of the group.

Ms Casey's brother, Ciaran, now leads the company as chief executive while sister, Carissa Casey, is editorial director of one of the group's titles, Ireland of the Welcomes.

The publishing house prints over four million magazines annually for the Irish, British, US and Chinese markets.

Announcing that she was handing over the CEO role to Ciaran Casey last year, Ms Casey said that the company needed somebody who would "love it every day".

According to the directors' report, they "are very pleased with the performance of the company in 2013 during which a decision was taken to invest in developing digital revenues to complement the magazine titles of the business".

The report added that the directors "fully anticipated the loss incurred in 2013 and are confident that the return on the investment made will return profits to the company over the next three to four years."

The firm going into the red came despite of increase in gross profit last year of 1.5pc to €1.4m. Revenues for the group in 2011 topped €6.1m but no revenue figure is available for last year or 2012.

The latest results coincided with drops in circulation in its main titles last year.

Revenues have been boosted by more recent launches with U Magazine Ultimate Girls Guide to Absolutely Everything enjoying a circulation of 17,681. Ireland of the Welcomes recorded a circulation last year of 22,463.

Ms Casey's late husband and editorial director of Harmonia Ltd, Richard Hannaford, died in October 2011 after an illness.

Prior to his death, Mr Hannaford oversaw the launch of new brands such as Tatler Man that recorded a circulation of 4,948 last year.

The two current directors of the firm are Norah Casey and Ciaran Casey. Remuneration for directors last year dropped by 8pc from €171,420 to €157,841.

The firm's accumulated profits increased to €1.12m and cash increased from €34,183 to €117,882.

Irish Independent

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