Despite a 2% rise in turnover to €109.7m last year, the Irish Times made a pre-tax loss of just over €5m in 2022 according to the media company’s latest accounts.
The loss compares with a profit of €4.9m in 2021 on a turnover of €107.5m.
Increased overheads, including energy and newsprint costs in addition to one-off payments totalling €1.15m to former managing director Paul Mulvaney and former editor Paul O’Neill, are largely responsible for the loss in 2022.
On a positive note, however, the group reported a 10% increase in income derived from digital subscriptions while advertising revenues across all platforms was up by 5%. Print circulation, however, declined by 6% last year, lower than the across-the-board decline of 10% for print publishers.
Elsewhere, third party printing contracts increased by 12% and the group is now the largest printer of newspapers in the country having recently taken over contracts to print the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent and the Sunday World.
Separately, editorial staff at the group were briefed on Thursday that the business intends to begin a voluntary redundancy scheme, aimed at addressing rising costs, according to a number of sources.
Speaking to the Irish Times newspaper, Deirdre Veldon, managing director of the group said “Our revenues were back up to 2019 levels in 2022 thanks to growth in our digital subscriptions, advertising and increased revenues from printing contracts for other publishers. That increase is the result of the hard work, creativity and commitment of all our staff.
“That said, we experienced a big increase in costs, particularly those we can’t control, including electricity and costs associated with printing our publications.”
She added that the outlook for the group “remains challenging” and there continues to be “significant pressure” on costs right across the business with the company set to open a programme of voluntary redundancies.
“Following a cost review earlier this year, we are finalising a range of measures to manage our costs effectively, including the introduction of a voluntary parting programme,” she said.