Profits double at Celtic Media Group (SBP – 19th November 2006)

My article on accounts filed by Celtic Media Group, which owns the Anglo-Celt and Meath Chronicle newspapers, from the Sunday Business Post this week (link here):

Celtic Media Group, which owns the Meath Chronicle and Anglo-Celt newspapers, almost doubled its pre-tax profits last year to €5.1 million, according to accounts just filed.

Turnover at the company increased by 22 per cent to €22.2 million. Other newspapers in the group include the Offaly Independent and the Westmeath Examiner.

The company paid almost €30 million for The Meath Chronicle in 2002 and €15 million in 2004 for The Anglo-Celt, which is based in Cavan.

Five directors were paid a total of almost €391,000 last year – an increase of €100,000 on the previous year.

At the end of 2005 the directors planned to pay a divided of €8 per ordinary share up to the amount of €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 company’s largest shareholder with 51,000 shares. Romanes is due to net over €400,000 from the dividend with a further €80,000 being paid to her Scottish business.

There are 182 staff employed across the group’s businesses.

Wages and salaries at the company totalled €5.7 million, which is an €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 €5.7 million, according to the accounts.

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