Dividend payouts return to IPC after leap in pre-tax profits

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The Independent Online

IPC Media, the magazines giant behind Marie Claire, NME and Country Life, yesterday showed why its US owner, Time Warner, has been keen to hang on to it, as the British company paid a £51.5m dividend.

The payout was revealed in annual accounts for IPC, which is the UK's biggest magazines publisher with 65 print titles and websites. A year earlier, the group paid no dividend to its parent company.

IPC's finances look to be in better shape after it disposed of around 20 weaker and more specialist titles, including the lads' mag Loaded, in 2010.

The company's pre-tax profits jumped to £45.5m in 2011 against £36.9m a year earlier.

Turnover from continuing operations dipped 1.8 per cent to £331.2m as print continues to feel the pressure with the rise of the internet and a tough economy.

Revenues were down 7 per cent compared with 2010 when the former titles are also included.

IPC, which is based on the South Bank in London and run by chief executive Sylvia Auton, cut more than 180 jobs, reducing total staff to 1,755. The unnamed, highest-paid director earned £820,000, up from £581,000.