Belfast Telegraph

Telegraph owner reports strong growth in profits

By Nigel Tilson

International media and communications group Independent News & Media today posted a 4.5% increase in half-year operating profits.

And net profit before exceptional items for the six months to the end of June was up 9.7% compared with the same period last year.

Dublin-based INM, publisher of The Belfast Telegraph and numerous other newspapers around the world, revealed operating profit rose to €154.6m, while net profit before exceptionals stood at €62m.

Profit after tax before exceptionals was up 8.8% to €99.8m and revenue increased 2.4% to €815.5m. The interim dividend was 4.57c per share, a 10.1% lift.

The company, whose operating margin now stands at 19%, said the increase in net profit before exceptionals reflected its diversified growth and rigorous cost management strategy.

It noted it had performed significantly better than peers as it enjoyed strong underlying advertising (up 6.3%) and circulation (up 2.5%) revenue growth in its publishing division.

INM pointed out that further restructuring initiatives are being implemented across the group this year to deliver sustainable payroll and other savings and enhanced workflows.

It also revealed its online businesses are expanding rapidly in tandem with print and it enjoyed market share gains in publishing across all markets.

Chief executive Sir Anthony O'Reilly said: "This strong performance reflects the clear benefits of our low cost ethos and our multi-market and multi-media strategy.

"We believe that our new work practices are right at the forefront in the production of newspapers, and we will continue our unrelenting attention on driving revenue growth while achieving cost and margin improvements in all of our businesses."

In the UK operating profits grew by 19.7% to €7.3m.

Belfast Telegraph