‘Sunday Business Post’ records €628,000 loss

New owners have cut operating costs and invested a further €300,000 in title

The directors of Post Publications said they were  on track to make a profit during the first six months of 2015. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

The directors of Post Publications said they were on track to make a profit during the first six months of 2015. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

 

Post Publications Limited, the company behind the Sunday Business Post, sharply reduced its operating losses in the year to the end of June 2014, accounts filed at the Companies Registration Office show.

The newspaper made a pretax loss of more than €628,000 in the period, having incurred exceptional costs of €409,374 following a redundancy programme and move to a new premises.

The shareholders’ deficit stood at €775,528 as of the end of June 2014. Since then, the shareholders have pumped an additional €300,000 into the company, the accounts show.

Its operating loss of €218,899 in its first year under new ownership compares with an operating loss of €1.8 million racked up in the 18 months to the end of June 2013.

Examinership

The title was rescued at that time by investment firm Key Capital and newspaper industry executive Paul Cooke, who acquired it after former owner Thomas Crosbie Holdings put the company into examinership, seeking court protection from its creditors.

The directors of Post Publications said it was on track to make a profit during the first six months of 2015.

A new digital offering will be launched shortly. “Premium content on the site will remain behind a paywall in line with existing strategy,” the directors said. “The board believes that the decision by other outlets to charge for content is further proof that readers will pay for quality journalism and premium content,” they write, in reference to the Irish Times launch of digital subscriptions.

The Sunday Business Post secured revenue of €6.8 million in the year to the end of June 2014, compared with €10.8 million in the 18 months to the end of June 2013. The cost of sales arrived at €5.4 million, down from €9.1 million, while administrative and other expenses were slashed to €1.6 million, down from more than €3.5 million in the preceding 18 months.

Post Publications employed an average of 61 people in the year to the end of June 2014, down from 74. Some 38 are involved in the production of the newspaper, while there are 15 sales and distribution staff and eight employed in management and administration.

Declining print sales

As with all newspaper titles, print sales have been on a declining trend in recent years, and at the last count, during the second half of 2014, the Sunday Business Post had a circulation of 33,233. This was down 3.2 per cent year on year.

Both circulation and advertising revenue remain “under pressure”, the directors noted.

Mr Cooke has been the company’s chief executive of the company since he invested in it alongside Key Capital.