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METRO

Publisher Metro reports drop in quarterly losses

Metro International, the Swedish publisher of free newspapers, said Friday it diminished its first quarter losses compared to the same period last year, but warned 2011 would see higher paper prices.

Publisher Metro reports drop in quarterly losses

Metro’s net loss for the first quarter was €3.4 million ($4.9 million), down from €5.8 million a year earlier.

The free daily publisher stressed the first quarter traditionally “is one of the two weaker quarters for Metro, following lower consumer spending after the Christmas season,” which tends to result in an advertising slump.

On the other hand, the fourth quarter is usually the company’s best because of a boost in advertising ahead of the holiday season.

“The full year 2011 will be influenced by higher paper prices,” chief executive Per Mikael Jensen said, adding the year was off to a good start.

Metro, which launched two new editions in Canada and its first paper in Guatemala during the quarter, meanwhile said that in both Sweden and Denmark, its earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were up by €1.0 million during the three-month period.

Sales jumped to €56.4 million from €48.8 million in the same period in 2010, helped by strong growth in Chile, Russia and Mexico, the company said.

Metro said its sales in France were negatively affected by a price war between free dailies.

“We are, however, maintaining our position as the second most read newspaper in France,” said Metro, which also ranks as the second most read paper in the Netherlands.

Metro launched in Sweden in 1995 and is now published in over 100 cities in 20 countries.

It today counts some 17 million readers, the company said Friday, noting however that readership in existing editions had slipped 1.0 percent year-on-year.

The daily’s main markets are France, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden.

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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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