Thursday, October 20, 2005

Metro reports sales gains, overall losses

Metro International's three U.S. dailies — in New York, Boston and Philadelphia — jumped 32% in the third quarter from $5.8 million to $7.7 million. The jump was fueled mostly by the launch of its New York City edition in May 2004. However, sales in Philly were up by 10% from last year.

Still, the three papers lost $2.6 million for a margin of minus 25%. "Metro New York halved its operating loss year-on-year in the third quarter," it said.

Metro said its Boston paper, which is now 49% owned by The New York Times Co., "is strengthening after a disappointing start to the year." In September, the paper reported record monthly sales and operating profits, it said.

Metro New York recorded sales records in May, June, and September, the company said, with third-quarter revenues up by more than 50% from the first quarter.

Metro said its three U.S. editions have an average daily circulation of almost 700,000, "making Metro the fifth largest general interest newspaper on the Eastern Seaboard and the sixth largest nationally."

This week, Metro launched its 59th daily, a national paper circulating in eight additional cities in Spain.