LONDON (Alliance News) - Independent News & Media PLC on Friday said its pretax profit grew in the first half of 2016 as exceptional charges booked a year earlier turned to gains and as the company saw revenue increased.
The Irish newspaper and media group said it made a pretax profit of EUR19.5 million in the half to the end of June, compared to a EUR13.4 million profit a year earlier. The year prior, the company booked one-off charges of EUR1.7 million, which swung to a EUR1.0 million gain in the first half of 2016.
Revenue increased to EUR161.6 million from EUR157.3 million in the half and the group's profit also benefited from 23% growth in digital advertising revenue, a reduction in net interest costs and lower operating expenses.
The growth in digital advertising sales drove the revenue increase, offsetting a fall in publishing advertising revenue, circulation revenue and commercial printing following the closure of the company's Belfast printing operation. This closure was partly responsible for the decline in operating costs for the company in the first half.
Chief Executive Robert Pitt said the company had performed well despite a challenging trading environment in the first half, which will continue into the second. Pitt said the company will continue to deal with the challenges it faces, including the decline in print advertising, "pro-actively".
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