Shares in Independent News and Media jumped over 30% today after it confirmed that it had received an approach in relation to a possible offer for the company. 

In a statement, INM said the discussions are at a "preliminary stage" and there is no certainty that any offer will be made, or as to the terms of any such offer.

INM's admission follows recent press speculation about such a move.

The company said that shareholders will be kept informed of any relevant developments.

Shareholders, in the meantime, are advised by the board not to take any action, INM said. 

A further announcement will be made in due course, the company added.

Last week, INM reported lower revenues and profits for the year to the end of December. Its pre-tax profits for the year came to €24.1m, which was ahead of expectations but over 15% lower on the previous year. 

Revenues for 2018 fell by 2.1% to €191m on the back of a decline in total advertising revenues of 8.8%, a decline in circulation revenues of 6.3% and a decline in commercial printing revenues of 6.2%. 

It also said it had taken a charge of €3.5m for exceptional legal costs to meet its obligations towards the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and the Data Protection Commissioner in their respective investigations into an alleged data breach at the firm.

INM has a market capitalisation of just over €100m.

The Irish Times earlier reported that INM's chief executive Michael Doorly had raised the prospect of a sale in meetings with the Dublin investment community this week. 

It quoted sources as saying German media group Axel Springer had taken a look at INM in the past, while Norwegian group Schibsted has also been rumoured to have an interest.

Shares in the company moved sharply higher in Dublin trade today.