Monday 19 February 2018

Irish Times suffers €1.1m loss amid drive to cut costs

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

'The Irish Times' swung into the red last year, making a €1.1m loss despite revenue remaining stable at €83.6m.

The loss last year followed an €840,000 operating profit that the publisher notched up in 2014.

The company noted that the trading environment last year had been "challenging but improved".

Like most newspapers, 'The Irish Times' is fighting a decline in print circulation. Its circulation revenue declined 4pc last year. That was slower than the 6.2pc decline recorded in 2014.

However, advertising revenue strengthened by 5.3pc across digital and print as the economy continued to improve. Its digital revenue is expected to hit over €10m this year.

Last month, staff at 'The Irish Times' were told that the group needs to save €3.5m over the next two to three years to avoid eating into its cash reserves. And as part of the drive to cut costs, the company is planning to lease out two floors at its headquarters on Dublin's Tara Street. It's also ceasing publication of its UK edition.

'The Irish Times' will target about €1.5m of the planned savings from payroll costs.

The newspaper group has had two rounds of voluntary redundancy since staff moved to Tara Street in 2006.

The company paid €37.6m last year in wages and salaries, as staff numbers rose marginally to 444. It incurred €1.9m in reorganisation costs, which included redundancies.

'Irish Times' editor Kevin O'Sullivan was paid €240,000 last year, unchanged on 2014. Managing director Liam Kavanagh was paid €270,000.

There was uproar in 'The Irish Times' during the boom when it emerged that the then editor, Geraldine Kennedy, was being paid €323,000 a year.

Irish Independent

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