Sales increase sees Metro post second quarterly profit

LONDON - Metro International has recorded an increase in sales and profit, despite heavy investment in entering the New York market.

The group, which operates in 15 countries, boosted its year-on-year sales by 50% to $145m for the first six months of 2004.

This increase helped it to produce a profit during the second quarter -- only its second quarterly profit since listing its shares in 2000.

Metro International has launched in seven markets this year, including New York in May, and three further French editions in Bordeaux, Lille and Toulouse.

Toby Constantine, the vice-president, global marketing and research at Metro International, unveiled research showing Metro International has a global daily readership of 14.5m, an increase of 13% since the last survey in November 2003.

Metro, launched by the Swedish company Kinnevik in 1995, said its strong financial performance was driven by growth in multinational brands taking advertising across several Metro markets.

Lawson Muncaster, the vice-president of global advertising sales at Metro International, said: "Our aim is to be the leading provider of the under-45-year-old audience in the urban markets we serve. These figures show we're well on the way and demonstrate the power of Metro's model."

Metro International has also worked with Associated Newspapers, the owner of the UK Metro, to include the UK editions in some of the multinational advertising deals.

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