Irish Press has reported a pre-tax loss of €42,000 for last year. Losses were just over €500,000 for the nine months to the end of 2002.

The former newspaper publisher's main activity is a 59% stake in local radio station Tipp FM. The company's turnover rose from €1.3m to €1.7m.

Irish Press was helped by an exceptional gain of nearly €200,000 linked to a partial reversal of a write-down in the value of its investments last year.

The directors are proposing a dividend of 15 cent per share. They have also announced plans for a share buy-back of up to 60,000 shares at a price of €7.50 per share.

The company said that if more than 60,000 shares were offered by shareholders, preference would be given to those holding 30 or fewer shares. An EGM to approve the plan will be held after the AGM on September 3 in Dublin.

The three directors of the company - Eamon De Valera, Vincent Jennings and JA Lenehan - were paid a total of €185,000 last year.