INM upbeat on advertising outlook

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Independent News & Media, the publisher of The Independent, is expecting to see earnings growth of more than 10 per cent in the first half of the year, while advertising revenues are seen as being more than 3.5 per cent better.

The company said, in a trading update, its results showed the benefits of operating in some of the fastest-expanding economies in the world - outside the UK, its businesses include assets in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and India.

Ivan Fallon, the chief executive of INM's UK business, said: "We have put out an optimistic statement, particularly when compared with the statements put out by some other newspaper groups."

Most of INM's UK-listed competitors - Trinity Mirror, Johnston Press and Daily Mail & General Trust - have operations concentrated in the UK, where advertising revenues are under severe pressure.

Analysts said INM's UK titles - The Independent and The Independent on Sunday - had advertising revenues that were flat to slightly up in the first half. The same period last year saw an increase of 18 per cent.

Overall, the group said revenues are expected to be 3 per cent ahead for the six months to the end of June, with circulation up by more than 3 per cent and advertising revenues seen to be 3.5 per cent higher.

Mr Fallon said: "South Africa is the star of the show at the moment. Australia and New Zealand are doing well, though they have slowed. In India, the advertising market is up 25 per cent, and we are doing better than that."