INM reports fall in operating profits for 2011

INM reports fall in operating profits for 2011

Independent News & Media has reported operating profits of €75.5m for the year to end December, 2011, a fall of 8.6% on 2010.

In annual results published this morning the company said revenues for the year were €558m, down 10.9% on the previous year, as "challenging trading conditions" continued in Ireland.

Underlying advertising revenue was down 6.2% and underlying circulation revenue was down 2.2%, the company said.

However INM reported "continued progress" in its digital operations, with underlying revenue growth of 9.6%.

Earnings per share were 9.8c and the company said its net debt levels had been reduced by €46.8m to €426.8m.

Underlying operating costs were reduced by €21.6m "in the face of significant economic headwinds".

"2011 was another challenging year for our industry," CEO Gavin O'Reilly said.

"Ireland's economic prospects stabilised throughout the year but consumer demand, and spending, did not return to the domestic economy as austerity measures and the Eurozone debt crisis, in particular, weighed on sentiment.

"Forecasting in the current climate is very difficult and, at present, advertising conditions remain challenging and erratic," Mr O'Reilly added.

"There has been some encouraging trading in recent weeks, particularly in Ireland, but visibility remains short and susceptible to influence by macro-economic factors."

INM said its stable of newspaper titles, which include the Irish and Sunday Independents, the Belfast Telegraph, the Evening Herald and the Sunday World, are profitable.

Two INM titles - The Irish Daily Star Sunday, in which it had a 50% stake, and the Sunday Tribune, in which it was a 29.9% shareholder - ceased publication in 2011.

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