LONDON (Alliance News) - Independent News & Media PLC on Tuesday said a significant decrease in pre-distribution operating costs and a rise in digital revenues were to thank for the increase in annual pretax profit in 2016.
The Irish newspaper and media group said total revenue grew 0.7% in 2016 to EUR323.4 million from EUR321.2 million in 2015, thanks to a 20% rise in digital revenue and an improvement within its Distribution unit, as it benefited from new lines of business.
The rise came despite the continued decline in publishing advertising revenue, of 9.2% in the year, as well as the fall in revenue from circulation operations and contract printing due to the closure of the printing operation in Belfast.
Independent News & Media's digital performance was driven by the combined growth in advertising, classifieds and its purchase of CarsIreland.ie. The group said it is focusing less on display advertising revenue and instead is looking to combine native, programmatic audience targeting and commercial partnerships.
Pretax profit grew to EUR55.2 million from EUR31.2 million, helped by the 9.0% reduction in pre-distribution operating expenses, as the company continued to integrate its operations and made operational savings.
Independent News & Media noted that the media industry continued to face challenging times, pointing to the "declining publishing advertising and circulation revenues, and the current slowdown in digital display advertising".
However, despite this, the group said it expects that its earnings before interest and tax performance in 2017 will be within market expectations and that it will continue to generate cash.
Shares in Independent News & Media were up 7.9% at EUR0.120 on Tuesday.
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