Independent News & Media (INM) announced today its full year results for the 12 months ended December 31st 2014.
INM reported strong performance in 2014 with an encouraging start to 2015. Margins improved, profits grew and there was strong advertising growth for the first time since 2007, coupled with continued positive momentum in digital audience growth in line with expectations.
Operating Profit increased 4.0% to €34.0m with operating margin increasing by 60bps to 10.7% driven by tight management of the cost base and continued strong Digital revenue growth offsetting the decline in publishing revenues.
Advertising revenue growth of 0.8% was reported, with total revenues declining by 1.1% to €318.7m with digital advertising revenue growth of 37.5%, offsetting the decline in publishing advertising revenue.
In the Republic of Ireland, INM has over 50% of the daily market, almost 65% of the Sunday market and over 33% of all daily newspapers sold in the Republic of Ireland are INM titles, while the Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life increased market share in their respective markets.
There was continued growth in digital audience figures with INM websites showing a 37% increase. The Group’s publishing websites attracted 11.9m unique users in Dec 2014 and generated 82.4m page impressions.
Commenting on the results, Robert Pitt, Group chief executive, said: “2014 was a year of significant change and progress for Independent News & Media. We have strong market-leading print titles across all categories and independent.ie is the clear go-to news portal for Irish consumers. Despite the many challenges facing our industry, the Group businesses submitted a strong performance in 2014.”
Pitt added: “There was a significant focus on ensuring that the Group’s titles and hugely successful digital offering are both aligned and calibrated to meet the continued challenges facing news publishing both now and throughout the cycle. As part of our strategy, there was continued progress achieved in removing costs from the business, which had the dual effect of reducing the impact of a year-on-year decline in revenue on profit, whilst also enabling significant investment in our expanding digital offering. Our continuing focus on cost management remains core to ensuring the Group is fit for purpose and remains competitive in a constantly evolving media environment.”