Metro moves into profit

By Dominic Ponsford

Free international daily newspaper Metro has moved into profit for the first time.

The rapidly expanding free paper now claims a daily readership of
15.2 million and, according to Gallup research, is the most read print
title in Europe among 18-to 40-year-olds.

New editions have been
launched over the past year in New York, Rotterdam, four more French
cities and nationwide in Sweden. It now has 45 editions in 17 countries
across Europe, America and Asia.

Metro International reported
turnover up 48.6 per cent to $302.4 million in 2004. Operating profit
for newspaper operations was $13.1 million, although taking into
account its other activities, overall the company made a net loss of
$11.4 million.

President and CEO Pelle Tornberg said: “The fourth
quarter’s strong operating profit result has been achieved despite
continued large investments in new launches, these being mainly the New
York edition and to a lesser extent Metro Lisbon and Metro Rotterdam .”

Metro
International is no relation to the UK Metro title, owned by Associated
Newspapers, which also moved into profit last year for the first time
since being launched in 1999. Last week Metro (UK) became the first
free paper to be nominated as British Press Awards national newspaper
of the year.

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