Metro International diverst the Dutch edition by selling it to TMG (Telegraaf Media Group), also the owner of the only remaining free competitor in the Netherlands: Spits.
Both papers were lauched 13 years ago – on the same day: 21 July 1999.
There were several other free papers like News.nl (TMG, 2000-2001), DAG (PCM, 2007-2008) and De Pers (2007-2012), the last one closed in March 2012.
The revenue of Metro Holland was €23.4m. EBIT €451,000 (2%). EBIT in 2010 was €3.6m (15%).
TMG will hold now 40% of the Dutch newspaper marker, according to the publisher the deal will not be covered by competition authority NMa as they intervene only when a share of 50% is reached.
Metro has a circulation of 460,000 and 1.6 million readers (3.3 reader per copy). Spits distributes 326,000 copies and has 1.5 million readers (3.8 reader per copy).
Together the papers attract 2.3 million readers. TMG will start an operation to make the papers more different. Distribution will be the first target for cost cuts, sales will follow later. Eventually TMG will also print Metro, although printing contracts by Metro have always be very tight, not much synergy can be expected there.
Metro sold minority shares in Sweden and Denmark earlier. Finalnd, Italy, Greece, France, Portugal and Finland were sold in full, in the Czech Republic Metro holds a small share. Poland, Switzerland, Croatia and Spain were closed.
Also in Denmark and Portugal two competing papers (one of them a Metro in both cases) are owned by the same publisher (Metro in Denmark).
All European editions (except Hungary) are now (partially sold) – the focus for Metro is now on Latin America.