Metro in 2012
The changes in the leading publisher of free newspapers, Metro Interntional, have already been substantial in 2012. The main change will be in ownership as main shareholder Kinnevik has made an offer for the rest of the shares of the company.
In France Metro will move to a new – smaller – format next month while it will expand distribution to 20 to 35 new cities (without increasing the total circulation). TF1, now owning all Metro shares, also promised to invest in the company.
In the Netherlands, director Silvio de Groot was succeeded by Tim Scholte, who has a background in online; indicating the direction Metro will be moving into.
Sales results from the Netherlands in January were disappointing – minus 18% – compared to 2011 but also compared to other parts of the company. Russia and Sweden did very well (right).
In Sweden, Bonnier – the traditional enemy of Metro – will start to distribute Dagens Nyheter supplement DN Stockholm for free to all households in the Swedish capital once a week. Publisher Bonnier earlier published its own free daily City in Stockhom.
In Canada, Metro has already disvested most of it shares in the English-language papers, the company is now also talking to do the same with for the only French-language edition in Montreal.
The first results for 2011 (full 12 months) are promising. Net revenue increased from €175m to €197m while net profit was €4.7m agains €2.9m in 2010.