Pre-tax profits surge by 29% to €1.13m at Limerick Leader owner

Formpress Publishing a subsidiary of Iconic Newspapers which operates 20 local titles

Accounts show that revenues at Formpress Publishing Ltd increased marginally from €12.21 million to €12.23 million in the 12 months to the end of March last. Photograph: Don Moloney/Press 22

Accounts show that revenues at Formpress Publishing Ltd increased marginally from €12.21 million to €12.23 million in the 12 months to the end of March last. Photograph: Don Moloney/Press 22

 

Pre-tax profits at newspaper publisher Formpress Publishing last year increased by 29 per cent to €1.13 million.

Formpress Publishing is a subsidiary of Iconic Newspapers and the company operates 20 local news titles here including The Limerick Leader, ‘The Dundalk Democrat and The Leinster Leader.

The accounts show that revenues at Formpress Publishing Ltd increased marginally from €12.21 million to €12.23 million in the 12 months to the end of March last.

The group has been in acquisition mode since the end of last March - last April, the group purchased the River Media group of titles - the Kildare Post, the Donegal Post, The Inish Times, the Derry News and the County Derry Post.

More recently at the start of last month, the group purchased the Midland Tribune and Tullamore Tribune.

The directors state that they are satisfied that the results for the year are consistent with expected levels.

They add that for many businesses of this size, the industry in which it operates continues to be challenging.

They state that the company has developed an established place for itself within the market and will continue developments in this area.

Numbers employed by Formpress last year reduced from 153 to 149 and staff costs decreased from €6.53 million to €6.26 million. Key management personnel were paid €1.258 million.

Other Formpress titles include the Kilkenny People, the Longford Leader, the Leinster Express, the Tipperary Star, the Leitrim Observer and the Nationalist based in Clonmel.

The Limerick Leader is the group’s flagship title and in the year under review, the title received a boost following Limerick’s All-Ireland senior hurling win in September 2018.

The issue after the historic win was a sellout which resulted in a reprint of the souvenir supplement and that was also a sellout.

Group Editorial Director at Iconic, Alan English is to shortly take up his appointment as the new editor of The Sunday Independent.

Formpress is 100 per cent owned by Iconic Newspapers which paid Johnston Press €8.7 million for the Irish titles in April 2014.

Iconic is controlled by British advertising executive, Malcolm Denmark.

The profit takes account of combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of €585,524 for the year.

The company’s shareholder funds at the end of last March totalled €12.4 million. The company’s cash pile increased sharply from €1.82 million to €2.12 million.

The company’s accumulated profits totalled €4.1 million.

The amount paid by Mr Denmark for the titles is a fraction of Johnston Press’s outlay for local newspapers during the boom.