Metro’s “zero-tolerance” strategy

In the 2008 annual report Metro CEO Per Mikael Jensen again explained the Metro strategy: consolidation in Europe, cost control (particularly HQ), expansion in Russia, Asia and Latin America and “a zero-tolerance strategy towards loss-making operations.”

In 2008 9 out of 20 operations were profitable. The real test for the company – for most newspaper publishers – will be 2009 with Q1 showing the first signs. In the Q1 presentation, 8 of the 13 majority owned newspapers lost money:

  • Sweden: €0.4 profit
  • The Netherlands: break even
  • Denmark: MetroXpress profit, 24timer losses
  • Hungary: losses
  • Spain (closed down), losses
  • France: losses
  • Italy: losses
  • Portugal: losses
  • Greece losses
  • USA (about to be sold)
  • Hong Kong: profit
  • Chile: profit

The Associated Operation (minority shares, franchises) showed a net loss €0.5m in Q1 of 2009 (a profit of €0.2 in Q1 2008). Korea is making a profit, as are Mexico and St. Petersburg. Brazil and Canada showed sales increase in Q1, but there was no information on profits or losses, in the Czech Republic only a decline in sales was reported.

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