Independent News & Media's half year revenues down 8%

Friday 30 August 2013 17.49
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INM's operating profits rise, but half yearly revenues slip
INM's operating profits rise, but half yearly revenues slip
Independent News & Media's chief executive Vincent Crowley
Independent News & Media's chief executive Vincent Crowley

Independent News and Media has reported operating profits of €15.2m for the first six months of the year, up 8.6% on the same time last year.

The media group said its half year revenue was down 8.2% to €164m. But it said that it reduced its operating costs by €15.9m - a fall of 9.6% in the six month period.

INM said its digital revenue grow by just over 8%, while its total advertising revenue fell by 12.7% in the six month period. Circulation revenues also fell by 4.4%.

The company plans to introduce a "leaky" paywall on its main websites by the end of the year, and to launch a new range of mobile and tablet applications at the same time.

In its results statement, it said that while trading conditions on the island of Ireland remain difficult, there was a notable improvement in the advertising performance from June to August, as the group experienced smaller year-on-year declines.

But it warned that it was too early to say whether the recent improvements will be sustained in the second half of the year as forecasting in the current operating environment is difficult and visibility remains ''short''.

See how INM shares performed in Dublin trade

INM said that during the six month period it had made ''significant progress'' on the restructuring of the group's debt facilities which will provide it with a sustainable debt level when the process is complete.

The actions taken included the sale of its South African business, while the company also agreed a pension restructuring of its Irish defined benefit pension scheme.

The final stage of its restructuring - a €40m capital raising exercise to further reduce debt - is underway. The company said it is confident that this can be implemented by the December 31 deadline.

''We have delivered substantial year on year cost savings and increased profitability, despite revenue reductions,'' commented the company's chief executive Vincent Crowley.

''Our focus for the second half, and into 2014, is to continue to identify new revenue opportunities and drive efficiencies across our business. A key focus will be the development of our digital activities and related digital revenues,'' he added.

The company said it would not pay an interim dividend for 2013.