The Sunday Tribune has been on financial life support for some time now and talk of its impending demise has been as frequent as that of The Progressive Democrats’. That said the company’s latest accounts, as detailed in The Irish Examiner, are going to do very little to improve the perception that it has no future.
The numbers speak for themselves:
The company lost â‚¬2.6m in 2006 (which is an improvement on the 2005 figure of â‚¬3.3m)
Another loan was required from 29.9% shareholder IN&M, this time for â‚¬587,000
The Tribune owes around â‚¬13m to IN&M in total, at an interest rate of 8%
As Ian Guider’s article points out those figures equate to a loss of around â‚¬50,000 a week, that’s a loss of 71c for every Tribune newspaper sold.
The company are remaining bullish, expecting profitability in 2007. But with the company continuing to lose readers and with two years of cost cutting measures only reducing losses rather than ending them, it has to be asked how such an outcome is realistic.
So it hasn’t been the best month for the newspaper so far and rumours of its demise are sure to remain for the foreseeable future.
What makes things worse is that while the board must find a way to turn a profit it must also rely on IN&M continuing to find its vital investment in the company worthwhile; management is sure to be hoping that Denis O’Brien’s continuing pressure doesn’t result in any “rationalisation” of company shareholdings at Independent House.