Metro Shutters Spanish Operations

By: E&P Staff

Metro International is pulling the plug on its Spanish operations, which publishes seven free dailies in the country.

The company launched the Spanish edition in 2001 and said that by 2004 it was turning a profit. But the challenging advertising climate and intense competition forced Metro to seek other options including mergers. “The size of the combined losses of the Spanish Free press market made it extremely difficult to find an alternative that would have improved the future financial performance of Metro Spain,” the company stated in a release.

Metro said it’s going to take a non-cash charge of 5 to 6 million Euros because of the move. The company had invested 25.5 million Euros in Spain.

“Despite dedicated efforts from our Spanish management team and staff, it is with deep regret that we have taken the difficult decision to close down our operations in Spain,” Per Mikael Jensen, president and CEO of Metro, said in a statement. “A continued investment in Spain cannot be justified at this point and we are therefore focusing our resources on growth areas where we can create long term shareholder value.”

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