‘Irish Examiner’ holding company reports turnover decline

Company was recently acquired by The Irish Times from Landmark Media

The Irish Times recently completed the acquisition of all of the publishing and media interests of the Cork-based Landmark Media group. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Irish Times recently completed the acquisition of all of the publishing and media interests of the Cork-based Landmark Media group. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Sappho Limited, the company that was recently acquired by The Irish Times from Cork-based Landmark Media, reported a 10 per cent fall in revenue last year.

Newly-filed accounts for Sappho, the media holding company behind the Irish Examiner and other assets, recorded turnover of €42.5 million last year, compared with €47.3 million in 2016.

Pretax profit for the group totalled €184,009 compared with €286,652 a year earlier.

Sappho owned two daily titles, seven regional papers, three local radio stations and a number of websites.

The share-purchase agreement between The Irish Times DAC and Landmark was signed late last year.

A deal to acquire Sappho from Landmark was completed earlier this month after approvals were received from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and Minister for Communications Denis Naughten.

The decline in turnover at Sappho last year came despite the cost of sales falling slightly from €29 million to €27 million.

The company employed 414 people at the end of December, the majority of whom worked in production. Staff-related costs, including wages and salaries, totalled €19.9 million. Directors’ remuneration came in at €835,463.

The group had net liabilities of €15.9 million at the end of last year.

Landmark publishes two daily titles – the Irish Examiner and the Evening Echo – and seven weekly regional papers – the Waterford News & Star, the Roscommon Herald, the Western People, the Nationalist, the Kildare Nationalist, the Laois Nationalist and the Naas and Newbridge Nationalist.

In addition it has interests in three local radio stations – 75 per cent in both WLR and Beat, and 17.6 per cent in Red FM in Cork. Its online publishing activities include breakingnews.ie, irishexaminer.com, recruitireland.com and benchwarmers.ie.

The share-purchase deal marks the end of the Crosbie family’s ownership of the Irish Examiner, which dates from 1872, when journalist Thomas Crosbie took over the proprietorship from John Francis Maguire.