INM reports 37% profit fall but ad revenue stabilising

Independent News & Media has reported seeing a stabilisation in advertising revenue despite operating profit dropping 37 per cent year-on-year for the 12 months to 23 October.

INM, which owns the Independent and Independent on Sunday and is trying to agree a deal to restructure its debt with its lenders, reported a fall in group advertising revenue of 19 per cent for the year to October.

Group revenue in that same period was down 14 per cent year on year on a constant currency basis.

The company said it expected full-year profits between €170 million (£152 million) and €190 million. If the lower prediction would be 41 per cent down on last year’s €290.3 million (£260.7 million).

Publishing an interim management statement today, the company said it had seen a “marginal improvement” in its fortunes since reporting half-year results earlier this year where group revenue was down 14.9 per cent and advertising revenue down 19.6 per cent.

Group operating profit before exceptional items was down 37 per cent year on year to 23 October, compared with a 45 per cent year-on-year fall in the first half of the year.

Circulation revenue declined by about two per cent for the year to October, the company said. Operating costs were down nine per cent year on year on a constant currency basis.

INM said: “The advertising trends experienced in September and October remain challenging and are expected to continue for the remainder of 2009.

“As a result, assuming a continuation of these trends and seasonal factors, the full year operating profit before exceptionals forecast for 2009 is expected to be in the range €170 million to €190 million.”

The company is holding a meeting on 10 November to discuss its repayment of a €200 million (£181 million) originally due to bondholders in May and formally approve a restructuring plan that will give bondholders a 47 per cent stake in the company.

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