Independent News & Media (INM) has reported pre-tax profits of €37.4m for the year to the end of December. The strong profit growth of 29.4% was achieved on the back of revenues which were up modestly by 0.8% to €321.2m for the year.
Underpinning the growth in profits was a strong performance from digital advertising which was up by 41.7% in the year to €12.5m. Total advertising for the year, meanwhile, was up 3.4% to €82.9m.
The disposal of its stake in APN, along with greater efficiencies introduced during the year, allowed the company to strengthen its balance sheet while at the same time eliminate debt. At the end of 2015, net assets amounted to €44.5m compared to net liabilities of €44m at the end of 2014.
According to group CEO, Robert Pitt: “the Group delivered a strong performance in 2015 considering the strong headwinds the sector is experiencing. The strengthening of the recovery in Ireland’s economy created a positive environment for improved business and consumer sentiment which buoyed advertising particularly. Driven by digital, increases were recorded in overall Group revenues and the company ended the year with a strong balance sheet, significantly improved profit before tax and strong cash flow.”
“The print publishing industry continues to face challenging conditions as it faces rapid structural change, the need to invest in and improve the quality of the offer is paramount and INM is creating the conditions to do that. This strategy will support both INM and its business partners; INM’s market outperformance is keeping the newspaper category alive for both publishers and retail channels. These results have been achieved through the hard work and commitment of our employees, for which we are very grateful. The indications for 2016 suggest that the existing challenging market conditions will continue in the coming year,” he says.