Independent owner swings to 145m loss

Independent News and Media, owner of The Independent newspaper, says it made a pre-tax loss of €161.4m (£144.9m) loss last year and states it is unlikely to meet its obligations to bondholders, having failed to reach a new deal.

The publishing group says profit fell 165% last year from €248.4 (£222.5m) as it struggled in the “weakening global advertising climate”. Group revenue fell 11.8% to €1.4bn (£1.3bn).

In the UK, total revenue fell 19.8% to €215m (£193m) while the nationals division, comprising of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday, reported advertising revenue down 14.3% on 2007.

The group says that “as a result of the current difficult credit markets”, it has been unable to raise new debt to fund the maturity of the €200m (£179m) 5.75% bond which is due to mature on May 18 and does not have the “sufficient financial headroom available” in its existing facilities to meet its debt obligations.

It adds that there is a “strong likelihood” of a breach of the financial covenants.

The papers have been struggling with falling circulation of late with The Independent on Sunday recorded the largest circulation fall of its rivals in the latest ABCs, dropping 21% to months to 169,777 in the six months to March, while its weekday equivalent also fell by 15.44% year on year to 204,384.

Earlier this month it was reported that INM was working with corporate finance group Lazard on possible options for its national newspaper titles, including its possible sale.

It has been suggested by many observers that decision by biggest shareholder Sir Anthony O’Reilly to step down as chief executive and be replaced by son Gavin O’Reilly, together with other board changes could see a change of attitude towards such a sale.


Gyro merges with HSR and eyes further expansion

Marketing Week

Gyro International has merged with US-based agency HSR and now has its eyes on further global expansion into Brazil, Russia, India and China. The new entity, GyroHSR, has 17 offices in nine countries across Europe, North America and the Middle East. The new agency has combined revenues totalling about $100m (£68.6m) and employs more than […]

Sky to launch long-form ad service

Marketing Week

Sky is launching an on-demand ad service that will allow viewers to watch long-form advertising. The first advertisers to sign up to the Green Button service include T-Mobile, Warner Bros for its movie Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (pictured), and Fox for its movie Ice Age 3. The service, which is accessed through […]

DDB creates Swine Flu hygiene campaign

Marketing Week

The Department of Health is launching a hygiene awareness campaign to help combat the spread of swine flu today (April 30). The campaign takes in television, print and radio and has been commissioned by the Department of Health. DDB London has devised the campaign that advises people to wash hands after journeys on public transport, […]


    Leave a comment