Increased revenues of 9% help 'Metro Herald' to break even
THE PUBLISHER of the Metro Herald morning freesheet in Dublin reached break even last year after increasing its revenues by 9 per cent growth and reducing its overheads.
Latest abridged accounts for Fortunegreen Ltd show that its accumulated losses were unchanged at the end of 2011 at €16.7 million.
“We got to a break-even position, which was great,” managing director Paul Crosbie said yesterday. “It was a strong year for us.”
This compared with a loss of €630,458 in 2010. Fortunegreen is owned equally by The Irish Times Ltd, Independent News Media (INM) and DMG Ireland Holdings Ltd, which publishes the Daily Mail.
Mr Crosbie said turnover rose from just under €4.2 million to €4.5 million last year. The company achieved cost savings of 5 per cent year-on-year “across the board”. “It’s been challenging,” Mr Crosbie added. “I’d like to think we’re turning a corner for the year. We’re hoping for a strong fourth quarter.”
In the first six months of this year, its average daily distribution of papers was 62,088, up 1 per cent year on year.
The accounts show that Fortunegreen purchased €528,982 worth of services from The Irish Times, which holds its printing contract, with sales valued at €6,725. It paid €547,744 for newsprint to Harmsworth Quays Ltd, a company linked with DMG. Purchases from INM amounted to €34,167.
Metro Herald was formed in January 2010 through the merger of the then rival freesheet titles, Metro and Herald AM. Metro had been backed by The Irish Times Ltd and DMG, among others, while Herald AM was owned by IN&M.
Fortunegreen’s shareholder loans amounted to €14.8 million at the end of last year. These loans are unsecured, interest free and redeemable after December 31st, 2015.