Free Paper Publisher Metro International Earnings Plunge 83%

By: E&P Staff

Metro International, the big global publisher of free commuter dailies, reported an 83% plunge in earnings for its second quarter Monday.

Metro blamed “gloomy economic news” in North America and Europe for the decline in operating profit to 0.6 million euros ($950,800) from 3.6 million euros ($5.5 million) million euros a year earlier. (The company began reporting its results in euros with its last quarterly report.)

“Conditions for advertising in Europe and North America are gloomy, regardless of the category,” Metro said. “Markets for advertising in paid-for titles have been hit badly in some countries — particularly (the) U.S., U.K. and Southern Europe — and less so in other markets in Northern Europe.”

Metro said it expects “double-digit” growth in other regions where it publishes free papers, including South America, Asia, and Russia.

“With this mixed outlook Metro is obviously most vulnerable in the US, Canada and Europe,” President and CEO Per Mikael Jensen said in a statement.

Metro said its total net revenues were down 8.6% in the quarter compared to a year ago.

Overall, Metro recorded a net loss of 1.9 million euros (about $2.9 million) from a year-ago profit of 1 million euros ($1.5i8 million).

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