Independent News optimistic on improved results


Independent News & Media says it is cautiously optimistic that its results for 2002 will show an improvement on those achieved last year.

At its agm in Dublin today, the company was more upbeat on the advertising market, saying that though advertising has not managed to regain the "buoyant" levels achieved in the first half last year, "it is showing less volatility and more consistency".

Independent News said it "is well positioned for any improvement in advertising markets, which many commentators expect to occur in the second half".

The company said circulation revenue to date is up across all divisions, while operating costs remain well under control and are down on last year.

In addition, interest costs are expected to be below last year as a result of debt and rate reductions in 2001.

On the Dublin market today, shares in Independent News & Media traded at 215 cents at 12 p.m., close to the a 12-month high of 229 cents in May 2001.

The company said Mr James Parkinson has been appointed chairman of its 44.55 per cent-owned Australian affiliate APN News & Media while Mr Donal Buggy has been appointed chief financial officer to replace Mr Parkinson.

Mr Parkinson will remain executive director of Independent News, the compony said.