Metro International sees $6.5m loss as readership rises

LONDON - Freesheet newspaper publisher Metro International reported a loss of $6.5m (£3.7m) for the last quarter on the back of new media and new edition investment as readership rose 10%.

Metro said that its daily readership reach 16.8m globally, which is a 10% increase on last year

The new media division generated $96,000 in revenue but made a loss of $1.6m.

Metro said that sales revenues increased to $100.3m from $79.6m last time.

However, for the first half of the year the company's overall loss evens out to only $700,000, thanks to a $15.9m profit on the sale of 49% of Metro Boston to the New York Times Company.

Seventeen new editions have been launched this year in Canada and Europe, taking the company to 57 daily editions in 18 countries. It said New York sales were up more than 50% from the first quarter.

Its second quarter circulation climbed 35% year-on-year to 7m due to the expansion.

Daily readership was put at 16.8m readers during spring 2005 by TNS Gallup, which surveys free and paid-for newspapers in all markets where Metro International's newspapers are available.

Greg Miall, head of international advertising, said: "Metro International continues to drive the fast growth of daily free newspapers around the world at a time when traditional newspapers are seeing declines in readership, especially among the young."

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