Free paper publisher Metro sees losses shrink

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.

Free paper publisher Metro sees losses shrink
Photo: Metro International (file)

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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Social Democrats call for Malmö underground system

Malmö’s Social Democrats have backed plans to build an underground railway in the city which could then be connected to Copenhagen through a tunnel under the Öresund straits.

Social Democrats call for Malmö underground system
The Copenhagen Metro in Örestad, near to the Öresund Straits. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT / Kod
Malmö mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh wants the city to begin drawing up plans for an underground railway with at least five stops: Malmö Central, Södervärn, Värnhem, Västra Hamnen and Nyhamnen. 
“We need to plan for a traffic system where we take into account being a city of half a million people,” she told the local Sydsvenskan newspaper. 
“And the traffic system needs to be able to handle more than just those who live in Malmö because we represent 50 percent of the growth in new jobs in Skåne and in addition are experiencing growing tourism.” 
Stjernfeldt Jammeh said that if her party manages to hold onto power after Sunday’s election, she aimed to push forward with the plans even before an investment decision over the Öresund Metro link. 
“There is a good reason in going underground, because we need to be economical with space on the surface,” she said. 
Sweden’s Liberal Party was the first to suggest building an underground in Malmö, with the Social Democrats instead pushing for a tram network until the plan was voted down by the centre-Right Alliance in Skåne’s regional government.