‘INM needs urgent restructuring’

Independent News & Media said it will need urgent and substantial restructuring in response to high levels of debt and tough trading, which have deteriorated further since July.

The company warned in August its operating profit would fall sharply this year as advertising revenue shrinks, following a difficult first half in which senior executives were pushed out by a change in ownership.

The company said group revenue fell 3% year-on-year in the 45 weeks to Nov 9 in constant currency terms, while advertising revenues dropped 5.4%.

Total costs in the period were down 0.7% year-on-year but further cost-cutting will be necessary.

“Notwithstanding recent momentum, a significant and permanent realignment of INM’s cost base is now critical to INM’s future success,” said the publishing group yesterday.

Telecoms billionaire Denis O’Brien tightened his grip on INM earlier this year by increasing his stake to 29.9%, pressuring chief executive Gavin O’Reilly into resigning and leading a shareholder revolt that also ousted the company’s chairman and finance chief.

O’Reilly’s departure ended his family’s 30-year control of Ireland’s largest media company and years of bitter squabbling between the O’Reilly family and O’Brien who also owns radio stations in Ireland and a mobile phone company in the Caribbean.

The company generates about two-thirds of revenue from local newspapers in Ireland, including the dominant daily and Sunday titles north and south of the border, and the rest from a South African business, recently put up for sale, where it is the leading newspaper publisher. The group has already initiated a restructuring programme at certain titles and job cuts at its head office.

The group said yesterday it had been encouraged by interest in its South African business and it is assessing whether the disposal can be delivered on acceptable terms.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Ryanair may extend share buyback

Analyst: Mortgage rate pressure to weigh on PTSB

Café en Seine bar enjoyed sales of €5.6m last year

Dublin ‘well placed’ for blockchain growth


You might also like

Breaking Stories

Body Shop running 'bio-bridges' programme to help threatened species

Twitter stops media attachments from affecting word count

Gamers are absolutely loving the diversity of Overwatch's characters

Here's what it's like to be served drinks by a robotic bar on a cruise ship

Lifestyle

Memories of Jewtown in Cork recalled in poetry collection

Turn off your phone and go to sleep early tonight - you'll thank yourself tomorrow

MAKING CENTS: Plan ahead before you submit housing plans

Recalling the life of Eileen Gray - the Irish mother of Modernism

More From The Irish Examiner