Archive for the ‘Publishers’ Category

French Direct papers expect break-even in 2012

Monday, September 12th, 2011

After selling 60% of commercial TV channels Direct 8 and Direct Star to Canal+ the Bolleré group announced they expect break even for their free newspapers Direct Matin and Direct Soir in 2012.

Direct Matin, launched in 2007, lost 10 million euro’s last year. The paper is published in six editions with a total circulation of 750,000. Also free Paris evening paper Direct Soir is not making any money.

The French free daily market is very competitive with the Direct papers performing worse than 20 Minutes (Schibsted / Sofiouest) and Metro (TF1 since July 2011).

Reaching break-even in 2012 will also be a problem as both papers contained a lot of advertising from Direct 8, shared content and were heavily involved in cross-promotion of content.

Earlier this year the free sports week Direct Sport was closed down.

Metro France to TF1

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

On July 28, Metro International sold it’s 65.7% share in Metro France to minority partner TF1, making the commercial TV station the sole owner.

In February 2002 both companies launched Metro in France, starting in Paris, Marseille and Lyon, expanding to nine more markets between 2004 and 2010. Total circulation increased from 470,000 to 770,000.

Metro France will be published as a Metro franchise; Metro International is expected to receive revenues under the new license and services agreements from 2011 onwards.

There are 115 people working for Metro France, 45 of them journalists.

Metro Q2 results

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Compared to Q2 2010, Metro International improved results in the second quarter of 2011 with a net profit of €2.8 million (€485,000 in 2010).

Metro already sees Metro France as a discontinued operation, pending the sale to TF1. Metro France reported a loss in Q2.

Good performers in the last quarter were Sweden, Canada, Mexico. St.Petersburg and SubTV (Chile). Sales in Denmark and the Netherlands declined.

The Metro Global Sales department secured a European Union anti-smoking partnership targeting 24-35 year olds that will run in 2011 in 16 EU member states.

Screen shot 2011-07-18 at 9.54.58 AM

TF1 bids for Metro France

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Metro announced that it has received an offer from its partner in France, TF1, to take control of 100 percent of the shares in Metro France. The offer, which is consistent with the provisions of the existing shareholders’ agreement, is pending on the outcome of the due diligence. The offer is expected to be signed within the coming weeks after consultation with employee representatives.

Metro holds 65.7 percent of the shares in Metro France and the remaining 34.3 percent are held by TF1. Metro was launched in 2002 and is the second largest daily newspaper in France. As a part of the transaction, Metro will continue the franchise agreement with TF1 who will publish the newspaper. TF1 is the largest broadcaster in France and views the transaction as an opportunity to expand its offer of free news and entertainment in all media channels. (Metro Press Release)

Metro Hungary sold

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

metro_Hungary_2011Metro International has sold its 100% daughter Metropol Hungary to Megapolis Media Inc for €700,000. The Metro edition will further be published as a franchise in Hungary.

Metro Hungary was launched in 1998 as the third Metro edition after Sweden (1995) and Czech Republic (1997). In 2001 a national edition was launched. Circulation is 290,000 (380,000 in 2007). The paper had a monopoly in the free paper market ever since, except for a few months in 2007.

After a lawsuit between Metro Hungary and Metro Cash & Carry AG the courts decided in August 2008 that Metro would have to change its name to Metropol. Metro and Axel Springer (regional newspapers, a Sunday paper, a business paper and magazines) work together on printing.

In January 2010 Metropol moved to the smaller half-Berliner, also used by Metro in the Czech Republic.

In 2010 the Hungarian edition made a small profit after being in the red for many years.

The sale fits in the pattern of selling (mostly unprofitable) editions and operating them further as franchises, like it was done in Portugal, the Czech Republic, Italy and Greece.

Negative Q1 results for 20 Minutes

Friday, May 13th, 2011

20MinutesFranceAlthough Schibsted’s free daily 20 Minutes in France (50% owned) saw its revenues increase with 12 percent, it resulted in a negative EBITDA of €0.9 million (€ 0.8 million in Q1 2010).

The increased distribution (new national edition and more copies in Paris and some other markets) is the main reason for the cost increase according to the company.

Online operations, however, reported an 83 per cent growth in operating revenues in Q1 when compared with the same quarter last year.

The macro-economic situation and tough competition in Spain had a negative impact on 20 Minutos Spain according to Schibsted. Operating revenues declined by 11 per cent in Q1. EBITDA was € -1.4 million (-0.6 million in Q1 2010).

1st European Summit for free weeklies

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Publishers of free weeklies gather in Copenhagen on May 11 and 12 at the first European Summit for free weeklies.

Speakers from Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland will address issues like content of free weeklies, advertising, regulation, distribution and readership.

Information about the conference can be obtained from

Details from Metro’s annual report

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Metro2010Metro’s annual report goes into detail when it concerns the different country editions; all of those – except France – made a profit in 2010.

  • Sweden: a 17% EBIT margin (8% in 2009) with becoming biggest recruitement site in the country. EBIT in 2010 €11.5 million.
  • Denmark: 3% EBIT margin and a EBIT result of €749,000 – the company received €5 million in government distribution subsidies in 2010; without the subsidies, full year revenue decreased with 11%. Circulation increase planned for 2011.
  • Netherlands: 15% EBIT with a EBIT of €3.6 million. Recruitment sales still slow.
  • France: break-even in 2009 – 4% EBIT loss in 2010. Caused by launching new editions. Competition is still extremely high in France. Metro wants to become the biggest paper in Paris by increasing distribution.
  • Russia (St. Petersburg): 29% EBIT margin: €2.9 million.
  • Hungary: first profits in many years thanks to cost cuts. EBIT margin 2%.
  • Hong Kong: 17% EBIT margin (€3.7 million), circulation will be increased.
  • Chile: 13% EBIT margin.
  • Mexico: 23% EBIT margin in first year that Metro has majority (72.5%) ownership.
  • Of the associated companies Canada was particularly successful.

Metro Q1 results

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Screen shot 2011-04-15 at 13.08.49Metro International increased net revenue by 16 percent to €56.5 million in the first quarter of 2011. The company still made a EDIT loss of €0.4 million, but this is much better than the loss of €3.7 million in Q1 2010. Net losses were €3.4 million in Q1.

Sweden and Denmark improved EBIT by €1.0 million each according to the Metro press release. French EBIT, however, showed a loss of €2.1 million as a result of increased competition. Another backdrop was the Swedish court ruling that Metro had to pay an advertising tax of €10.0 million.

    Schibsted annual report

    Friday, April 15th, 2011

    Profits for the 20 Minutes/Minutos free dailies in France and Spain were €1.3 million according to the 2010 annual report form Norwegian media company Schibsted. In 2009 this was a loss of €3.2 million. Annual operating revenues were €52.2 million (€52.9 in 2009).

    France (50% ownership of Schibsted) showed an operating revenue of 7% in 2010; Spain was break-even in 2010.