Metro’s losses increase

The market for free newspapers is not proving profitable for Metro International - the company has posted a first quarter loss of 85.5 million kronor ($12.4m). This can be compared with a loss of $4.9 million for the previous quarter.

Sweden has been identified as one of the company’s problem areas.

“On a seasonal basis, the first quarter is always weak for Metro International and usually results in a loss. But this year’s first quarter results also display poor results in some of our key markets, such as Sweden, Spain, France and the USA,” said Metro International’s CEO Pelle Törnberg in a statement.

“The problem in Sweden was discovered at the beginning of the year and worsened in March. The main problems relate to resignations in the marketing department, insufficient management supervision and the fact that Metro Bostad [housing supplement] is performing much worse than expected.

#We have changed the management and taken a close look at the Swedish side of the business over the last quarter,” Törnberg added.

The company now aims for Metro Sweden to once again become the model of cost effectiveness and growth against which the company’s other newspapers are measured.