INM restructuring boosts profits despite revenue drop

Revenue at Irish News & Media fell by more than 6% in the 12 months to December, but restructuring of the group saw it report an operating profit of €32.7m

INM restructuring boosts profits despite revenue drop

The huge restructuring operation saw the company reduce its net debt by more than €200m — going from €327m to €95.3m.

The company sold its South African operation, restructured its defined benefit pension schemes and issued new shares to achieve the debt reduction.

Group chief executive Vincent Crowley said that 2013 had been a landmark year for the company.

“2013 was a defining year for INM,” said Mr Crowley. “The group’s balance sheet has been significantly restructured and INM now has the capital structure to support our continued repositioning and ongoing digital investment programme.

“In addition, we continue to reduce operating costs and deliver additional efficiencies across the business, so that INM is well positioned to benefit from Ireland’s improving macro-economic performance in the years ahead.”

The owner of the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent, the Herald, and the Sunday World said that revenue from circulation had declined by 4.4%, with total print advertising down by 11.5% to €73.1m

Led by its deal division, Grabone, INM reported that its digital advertising revenue rose by 12% to €9.3m

“We continue to experience a relative improvement in advertising trends,” said Mr Crowley.

“The rate of decline in print advertising revenue has slowed further, with revenues down 2.8% year to date. Our digital advertising revenue continues to grow and is up 14.6% year to date. Despite these encouraging trends, visibility remains short and forecasting in the current trading environment is difficult.”

Davy analyst Simon McGrotty said it was encouraging to see the economic recovery trickle through to the media sector.

“This is both a reassuring and encouraging set of results from Independent News & Media,” said Mr McGrotty.

“The group delivered on its objectives and expectations during 2013, and the current signs of improvement in the Irish economy are slowly starting to manifest themselves in INM’s operations.”

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