Celtic Media Group, which owns the Meath Chronicle and Anglo-Celt newspapers, almost doubled its pre-tax profits last year to â‚¬5.1 million, according to accounts just filed.
Turnover at the company increased by 22 per cent to â‚¬22.2 million. Other newspapers in the group include the Offaly Independent and the Westmeath Examiner.
The company paid almost â‚¬30 million for The Meath Chronicle in 2002 and â‚¬15 million in 2004 for The Anglo-Celt, which is based in Cavan.
Five directors were paid a total of almost â‚¬391,000 last year – an increase of â‚¬100,000 on the previous year.
At the end of 2005 the directors planned to pay a divided of â‚¬8 per ordinary share up to the amount of â‚¬800,000. The shares are held by four of the five directors as well as the Scottish media company, Dunfermline Press.
Deirdre Romanes, who also controls Dunfermline Press, is the companyâ€™s largest shareholder with 51,000 shares. Romanes is due to net over â‚¬400,000 from the dividend with a further â‚¬80,000 being paid to her Scottish business.
There are 182 staff employed across the groupâ€™s businesses.
Wages and salaries at the company totalled â‚¬5.7 million, which is an â‚¬800,000 rise on 2004, despite a slight drop in the number of staff in the company.
At the end of last year the Westmeath Examiner had signed a contract to sell property valued at â‚¬5.7 million, according to the accounts.