News Column

Independent News & Media Narrows Loss As It Focuses On Cost Cutting

August 28, 2014

Hana Stewart-Smith

LONDON (Alliance News) - Independent News and Media PLC Thursday posted a narrowed pretax loss for the half year to end-June as it continued to focus on cutting costs and took some exceptional charges.

The company posted a pretax loss of EUR300,000, narrowed from a loss of EUR8.9 million, despite seeing revenue decline to EUR157.8 million from EUR161.1 million and recording exceptional costs of EUR16.2 million relating to the reduction of its stake in APN News & Media Ltd to 18.6% as it opted not to participate in APN's equity issue.

Digital advertising revenue, excluding its GrabOne daily deals website, rose 30% to EUR3.9 million. However, this was offset by total print advertising revenue falling by 2.7% to EUR35.9 million. This decline continued to slow, however, and Independent News and Media said the half year decline was the smallest it had seen since 2007.

The company said that it had continued to focus on reducing costs in the first half, and following the first phase of its restructuring programme, it has now implemented a further "significant cost restructuring programme" to maintain profitability, it said.

It is continuing to invest in its digital business, focusing on its portfolio of national and regional brands. Its site saw its online audience double to 9.2 million unique visitors in July, it said. Additionally, in Northern Ireland its site saw 3.4 million unique visitors in July, up 45% on the previous year.

Independent News & Media appointed Robert Pitt as its chief executive officer in July, and Pitt is expected to take on the role in Autumn.

Shares in Independent News & Media were trading down 3.6% at 0.125 pence Thursday morning.

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Source: Alliance News

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