Irish Times back in profit

The Irish Times has returned to profitability, reporting a pre-tax profit of €8.5m (£5.6m) in 2003, compared with a €2.8m (£1.9m) loss in 2002.

Staff at the paper will receive a total of about €675,000 (£450,000) in a profitsharing scheme pay-out. At the end of the month all employees will get an additional 2.4 per cent of salary. The two highest-paid executives, editor Geraldine Kennedy and managing director Maeve Donovan, have received base salaries of €308,000 (£205,000).

Average staff numbers at the Irish Times have fallen from 705 to 560 during the year. This was due to a voluntary redundancy scheme.

Donovan said it is too early to say whether the company will be seeking further staff reductions.

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