Free paper publisher Metro sees losses shrink

Free paper publisher Metro sees losses shrink
Photo: Metro International (file)
Metro International, which publishes a number of free newspapers around the world, said on Monday that it had narrowed its losses in the second quarter.

It added that earnings were now on a “positive trend” as the advertising market continues its recovery. Metro suffered a net loss of some 400,000 euros (3.8 million kronor, $520,000) in the second quarter after a loss of 3.7 million euros for the same period in 2009.

Sales rose 10 percent to 54.4 million euros. The company turned a profit in the last quarter of 2009. It lost money in the first quarter of this year but said market conditions were improving.

“The positive trend from the first quarter has continued into the second

quarter,” CEO Per Mikael Jensen said in a statement, adding the group’s performances had been particularly strong in Sweden and Hong Kong.

He said the company was on a good track to post a profit in 2010.

“A more positive outlook in advertising markets allows us to re-confirm

this message with greater confidence,” he said.

Since the beginning of the global economic crisis, which sent advertising

sales worldwide plunging, Metro has focused on its main northern European markets.

It shut down its Spanish business and has sold its US, Italian and

Portuguese divisions. Metro is published in 19 countries with some 17 million daily readers, the company said.

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