The publisher of the Irish Daily Star recorded a 7 per cent drop in profits last year, its latest accounts show.
Independent Star Ltd made €1.77 million for the year ended December 30th, 2016, which was down from €1.9 million the year before. Turnover fell to €18.6 million from €20.2 million in 2015, while the cost of sales came down from €12.5 million to €11.4 million.
The latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) show the tabloid had an average daily circulation of 44,925 in the Republic last year, which represented a drop of 7 per cent.
In spite of the decline in turnover and profits, Independent Star increased its dividend payment to shareholders to €2 million, up from €1.6 million in 2015.
The Dublin-based news publisher is jointly owned by Independent News & Media and the UK's Northern and Shell Media Group.
Tangible assets at the publisher also fell, dropping from €575,062 to €505,495. There was a reduction in the cost of wages and salaries, which came down from €4.1 million to just under €3.8 million.
INM provided printing distribution services to a total value of €5.5 million, which was down from €5.87 million in 2015.
Northern and Shell Media, which is controlled by billionaire businessman Richard Desmond, provided news and content to a total value of €400,000, which was unchanged from the previous year.
A spokesperson for INM said that the operating profit achieved at Independent Star was a “good result” for the newspaper, given that revenues in the sector are “contracting at a rate of circa 7 per cent or more per annum”.
Northern and Shell publishes four national newspaper titles – the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday – as well as celebrity magazines OK!, new! and Star.
In 2011, the company opened a state-of-the-art print plant in Luton, producing a portfolio of newspapers and magazines as well as providing third-party printing services.
Trinity Mirror, the publisher of the Daily Mirror, said last week it was in talks to buy Mr Desmond's Northern & Shell titles. Mr Desmond bought the Express titles in 2000 for £125 million.