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METRO

Metro International posts 2007 losses

Metro International, the Swedish publisher of free newspapers, on Friday posted a loss for 2007, blaming its performance on a volatile global newspaper market.

The company posted a net loss last year of 27.6 million dollars, down from a net profit a year earlier of 12.9 million dollars, but saw its sales increase by 8.7 percent to 452.9 million dollars.

“While the loss for the full year 2007 is a disappointment, the board, management and employees of Metro International remain committed to reversing losses in markets that are underperforming and to focus investment in areas of strong potential growth, including online,” chief executive Per Mikael Jensen said in a statement.

In the last three-month period of the year, usually a strong quarter, Metro saw its net profit slashed in two despite a 12.1 percent increase in sales.

“Metro International has not been immune from the volatility affecting the global newspaper industry, which has been reflected in the latest results of the company,” said Jensen, who became head of Metro last August.

He said the company’s fourth-quarter results had been negatively impacted by a 10.2-million-dollar provision for a Swedish advertising tax.

The average number of daily newspaper copies printed by Metro’s 13 fully consolidated country operations increased by three percent in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to the same period a year earlier, largely due to circulation increases by existing Metro editions in places like the Netherlands, Spain and Chile, the company said.

“The total daily circulation of titles in which Metro has an interest … was 8.8 million copies in the fourth quarter, making Metro the second largest daily newspaper in the world,” the company said.

Metro International, which counts more than 70 papers across 23 countries in 19 languages, claims to have 23.1 million daily readers worldwide, 74 percent of whom are under the age of 49.

Following its earnings report, Metro International saw its stock price rise two percent on the Stockholm stock exchange, which as a whole was up 0.66 percent.

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TRAVEL

The Paris transport works that could disrupt your summer

Every year, major engineering works take place on the capital's public transport network in July and August, when Parisians flee the city for their summer holidays. Here’s the lines affected this year.

The Paris transport works that could disrupt your summer
Photo: Ludovic MARIN / AFP.

Metro

The most significant changes to Metro lines will take place on line 6. The line will be closed between Montparnasse-Bienvenüe and Trocadéro throughout July and August, and the Nationale station will remain closed until the end of August. Replacement bus services will be available but will add time to your journey.

The Mairie des Lilas stop will also be inaccessible from June 26th, so line 11 line will end at Porte des Lilas until August 29th.

There will also be disruption on line 14, with no trains running between Gare de Lyon and Olympiades from July 25th until August 22nd, as work takes place to extend the line to Paris Orly Airport.

RER

Services on the RER A line will be suspended between Auber and the Université, Cergy and Poissy stations from June 26th until August 29th, every day from 9pm and all day on weekends.

From August 9th to 13th, and August 16th to 20th,  services will be suspended all day between Auber and La Défense, and no trains will be running to or from Poissy.

Frequent work is planned on RER B, which will affect journeys between the city centre and Charles de Gaulle and orly airports. There will be no services between Aulnay-sous-Bois and Charles de Gaulle 2 Airport on the weekend of June 26th-27th, or any day after 11pm from July 1st until August 27th. There will however be a replacement bus.

Services between Charles de Gaulle terminals 1 and 2 will also be suspended on July 3rd and 4th. Likewise for journeys between Gare du Nord and Charles de Gaulle 2 on August 14th and 15th.

Improvements take place during the summer, when public transport is less crowded. Photo: Aurore MESENGE / AFP.

The Luxembourg stop meanwhile will be closed throughout the whole of July. As will the Fontaine-Michalon station to the south of Paris from June 28th to July 23rd, and Denfert-Rochereau every weekend from July 24th until August 22nd.

The RER C will also see its share of engineering works, with no trains running between Pontoise and Avenue Henri Martin on weekdays after 9:30pm, from July 1st until July 13th.

There is greater disruption to come on weekends from July 15th to August 21st. Services will be suspended between Musée d’Orsay and Pontoise, Saint-Quentin en Yvelines and Versailles Château Rive Gauche, and Massy – Palaiseau and Pont de Rungis Aéroport d’Orly.

Tram

Most tramlines will be unaffected by works, but there will still be interruptions in certain areas. Notably, the stretch of the T3b line from Porte de Vincennes to Delphine Seyrig will be blocked between July 3rd and 9th.

Full details of the disruption can be found on the RATP website.

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