METRO INTERNATIONAL S.A.: FINANCIAL RES ...
METRO INTERNATIONAL S.A.: FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE SECOND QUARTER AND SIX MONTHS ENDED 30 JUNE 2006
Luxembourg, 25th July 2006 - Metro International S.A. ("Metro") (MTROA, MTROB), today announced its financial results for the second quarter and six months ended 30th June 2006. The Group's consolidated accounts have been prepared according to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
HIGHLIGHTS FOR Q2 2006
* 16% net sales growth from Q2 '05 to Q2 '06 at constant exchange rates
* 12% increase in net sales to US$ 112.1 million for Q2 '06 (2005: US$ 100.3 million)
* Second quarter operating profit for subsidiary and associate newspaper operations of US$ 12.3 million (2005: US$ 2.7 million)
* Total operating profit of US$ 6.5 million (2005: loss of US$ 5.3 million)
* 11 out of 18 subsidiary or associated country operations report profits
* Net profit of US$ 4.6 million (2005: loss of US$ 6.5 million)
* Net profit attributable to equity holders of the parent company: US$ 3.7 million (2005: loss of US$ 6.2 million)
* Weighted average basic earnings per share of US$ 0.01 (2005: loss of US$ 0.01)
FIRST HALF RESULTS
# 16% net sales growth from H1 '05 to H1 '06 at constant exchange rates
# 11% year-on-year increase in net sales to US$ 205.3 million (2005: US$ 184.4 million)
# Total operating profit of US$ 2.6 million (2005: loss of US$ 13.7 million*)
# Profit before tax of US$ 0.4 million (2005: loss of US$ 14.6 million*)
# Net loss of US$ 1.1 million (2005: loss of US$ 0.7 million including the Metro Boston transaction profit)
# Net loss attributable to equity holders of the parent company: US $1.7 million
(2005: loss of US$ 0.1 million)
# Cash generated in H1 resulting in decrease in total net debt of US$ 0.9 million
# Cost per copy reduced by 2.5%
Pelle Törnberg, President and CEO of Metro International, commented: "We are pleased with the progress that we have made in the first half of the year. We have delivered a first half year EBIT profit of US$ 2.6 million against a loss of US$ 13.7 million* in the first half of 2005. It is satisfying to be reporting new quarterly sales and profits records in the second quarter. We have also reached another milestone with Metro generating cash over the first six months of the year, thereby reducing net debt by US$ 0.9 million over the period."
"Our Q2 results show that the newspaper editions that have been operating for more than three years have, over the 12 month period ended 30 June, 2006, achieved an aggregate operating profit margin of 13% on revenues of US $305 million. There is no better way to demonstrate the underlying earnings potential of the Group. Of Metro's 18 subsidiary and associate country operations, 11 recorded a positive EBIT in the quarter and Holland, Denmark and Sweden reported profit margins of some 20%. Due to our continued emphasis on controlling costs, I am also pleased to report that year to date the operating cost per copy of Metro has been reduced by 2.5%.
"Metro will continue to start new Metro editions when the right opportunities arise. We have launched new Metro editions in both Mexico and Croatia during the quarter, in partnership with third parties, following on from the starting of new editions in the Czech Republic and Spain in Q1. We will continue to make new investments, but in a balanced manner with a focus on profitability.
"Reported year on year sales growth for the quarter was negatively impacted by the Easter holidays, which fell into the first quarter last year. The World Cup also had an adverse effect on June and July's sales for the group, with some of Metro's advertisers holding back their advertising spend."
* Excluding US$ 15.9 million net profit of sale of 49% of Metro Boston
Pelle Törnberg, President & CEO tel: +44 (0) 20 7016 1300
Andrew Best, Corporate Communications tel: +44 (0) 20 7321 5022
Metro is the largest and fastest growing international newspaper in the world. 69 Metro editions are published in 93 major cities in 21 countries in 19 languages across Europe, North & South America and Asia. Metro has a unique global reach - attracting a young, active, well-educated Metropolitan audience of 18.5 million daily readers and more than 37 million weekly readers. Metro has an equal number of male and female readers, of which 70% are under the age of 45. Metro's advertising sales have grown at a compound annual rate of 44% since the launch of the first edition in 1995.
Metro International S.A. 'A' and 'B' shares are listed on the Stockholmsbörsen 'O-List' under the symbols MTROA and MTROB.
The company will host a conference call today at 15.00 (CET). The call will also be webcast on Metro's website at www.metro.lu. To participate in the conference call, please dial in on the following numbers:
UK: +44 (0)20 7138 0814
Sweden: +46 (0) 8 5876 9446
US: +1 718 354 1157
A replay facility will be available shortly after the conclusion of the call. To access the replay, please dial the following numbers:
UK: +44 (0)20 7806 1970
Sweden: +46 (0) 8 5876 9441
US: +1 718 354 1112
The replay passcode is 2226438#