Archive for the ‘Publishers’ Category

Metro takeover offer by Kinnevik

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Kinnevik, Metro International’s major shareholder, has offered to acquire all outstanding shares of the Metro and all outstanding warrants.

The price of the bid for the shares is 46 to 47% higher than the current value.

The Independent Committee of the Board of Directors of Metro International unanimously recommends the shareholders and the warrant holders to accept the public offer made by Kinnevik.

Full press release can be read here.

Kinnevik now hold almost 50% of the shares (click on pictire to see bigger version). Acceptance by other shareholders is expected. The takeover will not change the strategy of Metro according to the press release.


Czech Metro from minority to franchise

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

metro_czech_2012Metro International today announced that its equity stake in Metro Czech Republic will decrease from 40.0% to 6.7% due to a decision not to participate in a capital increase.

Metro sold 60% of Metro Czech Republic in December 2007 to Mafra Media Group, a German media conglomerate controlled by the publishers of Rheinische Post (Düsseldorf).

Mafra bought the majority of Metro in the Czech Republic and ‘merged’ the paper with its own free daily Metropolitní Expres. Mafra now owns 93.3% of  Metro Czech Republic, that will operated as a franchise from now on.

“The decision not to participate in the capital increase is yet another step in the strategy where Metro aims to focus on emerging markets” according to the Metro press release.

Metro increases stake in St Petersburg

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Metro_St_Petersburg_2011Metro International announced that it has increased its stake in Metro St Petersburg from 58.5 percent to 95 percent by buying shares from the Russian owners.

The St Petersburg Metro started in 1997 as a weekly, in 2004 it went daily, a year later it became a Metro International franchise.

In 2009 Metro International acquired a majority (58.5 percent) in the operation.

The Moscow Metro is operated as a Metro International franchise. Combined circulation is almost 800,000.

Silvio de Groot leaves Metro

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Silvio de Groot, working for almost 10 year for Metro, will leave the company at the end of this year.

The reason is that Metro and De Groot could not reach an agreement on how the paper should develop in the coming years.

De Groot has not only worked for a decade for the company and made Metro Holland profitable, he was also Executive Vice President of Metro International and was responsible for several European Metro editions.

20 Minutes/Minutos Q3 results

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Norwegian publishing house Schibsted today published the results of their free dailies in France and Spain. Compared to Q3 2010, revenues are up but profits are larger now than a year before.

Although Q3 in general is a weak quarter for free dailies, the competition in France and the general economic situation in Spain caused some problems for the free papers.

In France where Schibsted owns 50% of 20 Minutes, distribution was increased to keep up with the competition and keep the position of market leader.

Screen shot 2011-11-11 at 1.51.35 PM

Metro 1995-2011

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Metro launched their first free newspaper in Sweden in 1995. After expansion in Europe (Hungary, Czech republic, Denmark, Holland) it started in the America’s (Argentina, Canada, USA, Chile) in 2000 and in Asia (Korea, Kong Kong) in 2002.

More countries were added in later years although some editions were also closed down (Spain, Poland, Argentina, Croatia, Switzerland).

Until 2007 circulation increased year on year (growing to more than 8 million copies) but in 2008 and 2009 circulation dropped – mainly in Europe.

While Europe and Asia have shown stable circulation during the last years, there is growth in the America’s, mostly in the Spanish speaking part. Total circulation is back again to more than 8 million copies a day. (click for bigger version)


Circulation includes all Metro, PubliMetro, MetroXpres, Metropol, Publinews, MetroHoy and Metropolis titles published or franchised by Metro International and 24timer (Denmark).

Not included are Metro’s commercial partners in Spain, the UK and Belgium.

Most Metro’s are not fully owned by Metro, however. In Europe only Holland is fully owned, Sweden, Denmark and St. Petersburg are majority owned (38% of Metro’s 4.6 million copies). The rest is franchised and/or minority owned.

In the America’s only Chile (100%) and Colombia (51%) are majority owned – less than 10% of Metro 2.6 million copies).

In Asia Hong Kong is fully owned by Metro, Korea is a Metro franchise.

In 1995 more than 90% of all free newspaper copies were published by Metro. Their market share in Europe dropped to 20% in 2008 but increased again to 25% in 2011. In the America’s Metro’s share is 36% after the recent launches while the share in Asia is just above 10%.


Metro Q3 results

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Revenues of Metro International have increased in Q3 2011 by 13 percent to €42.0 million (€37.4 million in Q3 2010). The total result for Q3, however is down to a loss of €1.8 million – partly because of a provision of €2.8 million for a lawsuit in Spain. The Q3 2010 EBIT was €4.5 million.

Sales in Denmark increased during Q3, although there were flat sales in Sweden and a decline in sales in Holland. Operations in emerging markets continue to grow strongly with both Chile and Mexico recording double-digit growth. Increased competition in Hong Kong also affected results.

All operations except Holland (-€530,000) and the Czech Republic (-€264,000) showed a profit in Q3 2011. Also headquarters costs (€7 million) affected results negatively, management and administration costs went up to €4.9 million (€2.4 million Q3 2010) because of the Spanish lawsuit provision.

after provision of €2.8 million for lawsuit in Spain. Previous years EBIT
of €4.5 million

Metro sells part of Canadian operation

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Metro International has sold part of their interest in the English speaking part of Canada its partner Torstar on October 14.

The sale is of 40 percent of the effective economic interest in Metro English Canada for €37.0 million pre-tax value as well as yearly franchise fees. Metro will continue to hold the remaining 10 percent of the equity and will have representation on the Board.

Metro partnered with Torstar in Toronto in 2000 after both companies made peace after launching competing free dailies. Torstar started GTA Today, Metro launched Metro Today while Sun Media started FYI Toronto, all in the last week of June 2000.

Metro launched eight English editions in Canada (Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Winnipeg, London) and one French language edition in Montreal.

Luxembourg Saint-Paul reorganizes

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Screen shot 2011-10-03 at 2.50.45 PMThe French language daily newspaper in La Voix du Luxembourg, published by Saint-Paul, stopped publication in September.

The publisher, also responsible for German language Luxemburger Wort, will concentrate their offering to the French-speaking population by the French version of the website and free daily newspaper Point 24. (Publicitas)

The website seems to have vanished, it now redirects to French version

Point24 is published daily in French and German while a Portuguese version is available twice a week. Both daily editions claim a circulation of 70,000.

Metro Latin America

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

With launches in Peru and Colombia Metro International will be present in seven Latin American countries in 2011. Total circulation will rise to more than one million copies per day.

When Metro started in the area more than ten years ago, the situation look totally different. Metro Argentina (Publimetro) had to close down after one year while circulation in Chile dropped from 120,000 to less than 90,000 in 2005.

In 2006, however, the Latin American strategy changed with a launch in Mexico (first a minority share, 64% ownership since 2010) while Brazil (also minority share) following in 2007. In both countries the number of editions and circulation increased substantially over the years. (click for larger version)


In 2009 an Ecuador edition (51% ownership) was launched while Guatemala (25%), Peru and Colombia followed this year. In Columbia Metro faces competition from ADN (by El Tiempo).

In terms of circulation, Latin America is still small compared to other areas. In Northern America Metro distributes 1.4 million copies, in Europe 4.7 million copies and in Asia (2 markets) also more than 1 million copies.