Indept. News & Media INM Interim Management Statement

  Indept. News & Media (INM) - Interim Management Statement

RNS Number : 3820R
Independent News & Media PLC
16 November 2012




                         INTERIM MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

        Ticker: (Bloomberg) INM.ID/INM.LN and (Reuters) INME.I/INME.L

                                      

Dublin/London, 16 November 2012:Independent  News & Media  PLC ('INM' or  the 
'Group') today issued an Interim  Management Statement ('IMS') which  provides 
an update on  INM's trading performance  for the year-to-date  (45 weeks to  9 
November 2012), and in particular for the period since 1 July 2012.

                                      

                             PERFORMANCE REVIEW

                                      

The year-on-year performance, in constant currency terms, for the 45 weeks  to 
9 November 2012 is as follows:



· Total Group Revenues declined by 3.0% (-4.1% in euro);

·  Total Advertising Revenues declined by 5.4% (-7.2% in euro);

·  Total Circulation Revenues declined by 3.1% (-3.9% in euro); and

·  Operating Cost reduction of 0.7% (-1.5% in euro).



Trading conditions  since the  announcement  of the  Group's 2012  First  Half 
Results on  31  August have  remained  challenging as  had  been  anticipated, 
reflecting the difficult economic backdrop  still prevailing in the Island  of 
Ireland and South  Africa. Against  this continued backdrop,  and the  Group's 
significant level of debt, the  need for substantial and urgent  restructuring 
is evident.



In Ireland,  high  unemployment,  a  challenged  banking  sector  and  concern 
surrounding a further difficult budget in December 2012 continue to impact  on 
consumer sentiment and spending. In South Africa, consumer confidence  remains 
subdued, resulting in a business environment that continues to be challenging.



In these economic conditions, advertising remains erratic and there has been a
further deterioration in trading conditions in  the period since 1 July  2012. 
INM's year-to-date  advertising revenue  is currently  5.4% behind  last  year 
(compared to  4.1% behind  in H1  2012), while  Group circulation  revenue  is 
currently 3.1% behind last year (compared to 1.9% behind in H1 2012).



INM's focus on achieving continued cost savings has helped to mitigate some of
the revenue decline in  the period, with  total Group costs  down 0.7% on  the 
same period last year, despite  significant general inflationary pressures  in 
South Africa  of in  excess of  7%. Whereas  some positive  progress has  been 
achieved in reducing INM's cost base in the period since 1 July, the full year
sustainable benefits will  not be reflected  until 2013. Selected  initiatives 
include:



· INM's head office relocation and associated headcount reductions;

· Restructuring programmes at the Belfast Telegraph and Sunday World; and

· A recently agreed restructuring at its Citywest Print Plant in Ireland.



Notwithstanding recent momentum,  a significant and  permanent realignment  of 
INM's cost base is now critical to INM's future success.



                                  - OUTLOOK-



Trading  conditions  in  the  Island  of  Ireland  and  South  Africa   remain 
challenging. Advertising  remains  erratic  and visibility  is  poor.  Despite 
unprecedented operating conditions, and  an ever-competitive media  landscape, 
the Group's  franchise  remains  relevant  and resilient.  INM  has  a  strong 
portfolio of  market-leading  and  profitable titles  and  a  growing  digital 
revenue stream. INM has a well invested and increasingly efficient asset base,
with no significant medium-term capital expenditure requirements.



                               - DELEVERAGING -

                                      

As outlined in the Group's First Half Results, INM also continues to engage in
constructive discussions with its lenders, with a view to refinancing its bank
debt well  in  advance  of  its  maturity in  May  2014,  and  to  enable  the 
substantial and urgent restructuring required.



In relation to South Africa, as highlighted in the First Half Results, INM has
appointed Investec and  Hawkpoint to  review its  options in  relation to  its 
South Africa business. INM has been encouraged by the degree of interest shown
by a number of parties in this business as it ascertains whether a disposal is
deliverable on acceptable terms in the best interests of the Company.



                                 - PENSION -

                                      

The Group's Republic of Ireland defined benefit pension schemes had a  deficit 
at 30 June 2012 of €156.5m.  The Group remains focused on providing  certainty 
to those contributing  to the  various schemes  and to  securing a  reasonable 
pension expectation for all participants within the timeline and parameters as
set out by the Irish Pensions Board.



NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Some statements in this announcement  are forward-looking. They represent  our 
expectations for our  business and  involve risks and  uncertainties. We  have 
based  these  forward-looking  statements  on  our  current  expectations  and 
projections  about  future  events.  We  believe  that  our  expectations  and 
assumptions with respect to  these forward-looking statements are  reasonable. 
However, because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other
factors, which are  in some cases  beyond our control,  our actual results  or 
performance may  differ materially  from those  expressed or  implied by  such 
forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as  of 
the date of this document and no obligation is undertaken, save as required by
law or by the Listing Rules of the Irish Stock Exchange and/or the UK  Listing 
Authority, to reflect new information, future events or otherwise.



- ENDS -



For further information, contact:



Pat Walsh                 Vincent Crowley

Murray Consultants        Group Chief Executive

+353 1 498 0300 (office)  Independent News & Media PLC

+353 87 226 9345 (mobile) +353 1 466 3200

pwalsh@murrayconsult.ie   vincent.crowley@inmplc.com





CORPORATE PROFILE

Independent News & Media  PLC is a leading  international newspaper and  media 
group. Its main  interests are located  in the Republic  of Ireland,  Northern 
Ireland, and South Africa.



The Group has market-leading newspaper  positions in the Republic of  Ireland, 
Northern Ireland, and South  Africa and has established  a strong and  growing 
digital presence, including  market-leading digital positions  in each of  our 
main markets with more than 75 editorial, classified and transactional  sites. 
INM  is  the  largest  newspaper  contract  printer  and  wholesale  newspaper 
distributor on the island of Ireland.



In Australasia, the Group has a 29.0% investment in APN News & Media Limited -
which is quoted on the ASX (Sydney). APN is the largest newspaper publisher in
New  Zealand  and  leading  regional   publisher  in  Australia.It  is   also 
Australasia's largest radio operator  (50% owned) with  over 140 stations  and 
owns 50% of Australasia's largest outdoor advertising operator. APN also has a
leading outdoor advertising position in Hong Kong.



From its newspaper origins in Ireland, INM  has grown and evolved to become  a 
geographically  and  media  diverse  group  with  market-leading  brands.   In 
aggregate, INM manages gross assets of  €565 million, revenue of €558  million 
and employs approximately 2,800 people worldwide.



                     This information is provided by RNS
           The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

END


IMSGGGGUGUPPGMQ -0- Nov/16/2012 17:32 GMT
 
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