Metro International predicts losses

Metro International, the international free daily newspaper group, does not expect to break even this year given the “uncertainty” in the global economy.

The news comes as the group reports a 14% drop in third quarter total net sales to €57 million (£44 million). Per Mikel Jensen, president and chief executive, says conditions for advertising in Europe and North America are “gloomy”.

He adds: “Considering the current uncertainty in the global economy which impacts the outlook for the advertising markets in the fourth quarter, we do not believe that Metro International will be able to break even for 2008.”

Metro registered net profit of €22.2 million (£17 million) in the quarter compared with a net loss of €14.3 million (£10.8 million) last year following the €35.8 million (£27.6 million) sale of Metro Sweden.

The group says year on year daily readership increased by 8 per cent to 17.7 million.

Jensen adds that US, Spain, Italy, France and Portugal as markets particularly suffering from declining advertising prices adding that remedies to improve results were being worked on.

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