Southern Hemisphere Boosts Independent News & Media

12 September 2003

Interim results at global newspaper group Independent News & Media have been buoyed by strong sales in Australasia and South Africa.

Overall pre-tax profits crept up 1.3% to €52.4 million in the six months to June, as turnover rose 3.9% to €659.6m. Operating profits jumped 3.8% to €106.6m.

However, the group-wide figures mask varying performances in different markets. Large sales gains in Australasia (+16%) and South Africa (+11.2%) made up for slow growth in Ireland and a slight dip in the UK, where ad revenues slipped 3.3%.

In addition, profits were hit by an €8m charge connected with the purchase of the Belfast Telegraph.

IN&M – whose assets include The Independent daily broadsheet in Britain, five national titles in Ireland and the New Zealand Herald – is the fiefdom of former Heinz beans baron Sir Anthony O’Reilly, though he is shortly expected to split his positions of chairman and ceo. The beneficiary is likely to be his son Gavin. Another media dynasty in the making?

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff