Independent News & Media has reported FY 2013 results this morning that highlight the steps taken over the past 12 months to restructure the business and place it on a more sustainable path going forward. Revenue for the 12 month period for toe continuing group amounted to €322.4 million (2012: €345.1 million), representing a 6.6% decline YoY. Despite the decline in revenue levels, owing to a reduction in costs at INM, the operating profit for the year was flat compared to 2012, amounting to €32.7 million, a good result considering the negative impact of reduced revenue. Basic earnings per share (pre-exceptional items) amounted to 3.0c (2012: 1.1c). <p>
INM also saw the group’s net debt decline significantly during the year as a result of a three pronged approach to bringing to level lower, to a more sustainable level. Net debt stood at €95.3 million at the year end of 2013, comparing to €422.4 million at the end of 2012. Net Debt/EBITDA now stands at 2.4 times, a far more reasonable level for the group on a go forward basis, given the remaining assets of INM in Ireland and the group’s stake in APN. <p>
In 2013, total print advertising revenue decreased by 11.5% (€-9.5 million), digital advertising revenue increased by 12% (+€1 million) and circulation revenue was lower by 4.4% during the year. However, the rate of decline has improved in 2014 with print advertising revenue declining by 2.8% while advertising using the digital platform has increased by 14.6% YoY. <p>
In terms of outlook, management note that the rate of decline for traditional print advertising has improved in recent months but note that visibility remains short. Going forward, the focus for INM will be on enhancing the digital offering of the group and the recovery for the print element of the business model will be dependent on the recovery of the broader Irish economy. Against this backdrop, we expect that management will seek to further realign the cost structure of the group to move it in line with the underlying operating environment that the company finds itself in.
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