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Tuesday 17 October 2017

Independent News & Media operating profits jump 4pc

The offices of Independent News & Media on Talbot Street in Dublin
The offices of Independent News & Media on Talbot Street in Dublin

INDEPENDENT News & Media said operating profits jumped 4pc last year as digital sales rose and the company reduced costs.

The owner of this website reported a “strong performance” in 2014 and an “encouraging start” to 2015. Advertising sales are rising for the first time since 2007 as the economy picks up, the publisher added.

“Whilst it is still very early in the year, we anticipate a full year performance in line with expectations,” INM said as it unveiled earnings for 2014.

The publisher of the biggest selling daily and Sunday newspapers in the country posted operating profits of €34m for 2014 while operating margins increased by 60 basis points to 10.7pc. Advertising revenue rose 0.8pc but total revenues dipped  by 1.1pc to €318.7m as circulation declined on some titles. Net debt fell by 6.3pc to €89.3m.

Digital advertising revenue jumped by 37.5pc which more than offset the decline in publishing advertising revenue, the company said. The group’s publishing websites attracted 11.9 million unique users in December and as many as 12.8 million in October.

The last 12 months have been busy for the company with the appointment of new chief executive Robert Pitt, new chief financial officer Ryan Preston and new editors at the ‘Irish Independent’ and ‘Sunday Independent’ as well as the sale of the company’s education business.

“Despite the many challenges facing our industry, the group businesses submitted a strong performance in 2014,” Mr Pitt said in the statement. ”There was a significant focus on ensuring that the group’s titles and hugely successful digital offering are both aligned and calibrated to meet the continued challenges facing news publishing both now and throughout the cycle.”

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