From Examiner (bold notes are ours):
Group saw a 10% growth in digital subscriptions revenue, with the total number of new subscribers growing by 3.9% over the year.
Thes parent company The Irish Times Group has reported a loss for the 2022 financial year, citing increasing costs of energy and newsprint.
Over the course of the year, the group’s turnover increased to €109.7m — compared to €107.5m the year prior.
However, the company has posted a loss of €1.1m compared to a profit of €2.9m in 2021.
This is before other exceptional items and other losses are taken into account.
Losses in investments came to 2.7m, while exceptional items such as redundancy costs totalled just over €1.6m. These, along with rising energy and printing cost, means that total losses last year for the Group came to over €5m.
According to the results, additional expenditure for the year came to €4.7m, due mainly to increasing energy unit costs as well as the cost of printing newspapers.
The company’s investment in core technology and a modest increase in headcount resulted in total spend rising by €6.2m compared to 2021.
Deirdre Veldon, managing director of the Irish Times Group, said following a cost review conducted earlier this year “we are finalising a range of measures to manage our costs effectively, including the introduction of a voluntary parting programme”.
“Energy and newsprint prices remain stubbornly high. The reduction in Vat on print and digital subscription revenues in 2023 is a very welcome boost against continuing inflationary pressures,” the group said in its results.
Despite the loss recorded, the group saw a 10% growth in digital subscriptions revenue, with the total number of new subscribers growing by 3.9% over the year.
There was a 5% increase recorded in advertising revenue and revenue from third-party printing contacts increased by 12%.
Ms Veldon said that the Group’s revenues were back up to 2019 levels in 2022 “thanks to growth in our digital subscriptions, advertising and increased revenues from printing contracts for other publishers”.
“That increase is the result of the hard work, creativity and commitment of all our staff. That said, we experienced a major increase in costs, particularly those we can’t control, including electricity and costs associated with printing our publications.”
Print circulation across the entire group fell by 6% in the year, however, this was ahead of the market volume declines of 10%.
Ms Veldon added that the market remains “challenging” and “there is significant pressure on cost right across the business”.
“We plan to accelerate the growth of our digital reader revenues by enhancing our product and by continuing to exploit the opportunities at home and internationally
The group’s net cash at the year end remains strong at €19.7m — down from €23.7m last year.
While the group’s investment portfolio reported losses of €2.7m in the year, the Group said this performance was ahead of the market which experienced a very challenging and volatile year.
The group said losses were “hedged somewhat” by tactical investment in “US dollar held equities throughout the year”.
“Our strategy remains to build a digitally focused news and information business, anchored in the Objects of The Irish Times Trust, which has subscribers, readers and listeners at its core and where paid content is the primary source of revenue,” the group said.