Metro Launches Two New Editions in Spain


BERTRANGE, Luxembourg, Feb. 02, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Metro International S.A. ("Metro"), the international newspaper group, today announced the launch of `Metro Valencia Hoy' and `Metro Alicante Hoy' in Spain following an agreement with local newspaper group Ediciones Primera Plana de Alicante, S.L.

Metro is now present in seven Spanish cities. The editions in Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Zaragoza, La Corunya, Valencia, and Alicante have a combined daily circulation of nearly 700,000 copies, which further consolidates Metro's position as the largest newspaper in Spain. The seven cities account for 72% of Spain's annual advertising spend and Metro's distribution area covers 40% of the Spanish population. Metro Spain already attracts 1.4 million daily readers, more than half of which are under 35 years of age.

The Spanish net newspaper advertising market was estimated to be worth US$ 1.4 billion in 2003.

The two new newspapers are being distributed by hand and from racks in the two city centers and surrounding suburbs. Valencia is Spain's third largest city and Metro has a target daily circulation of 50,000 copies, whereas Metro expects to distribute 20,000 copies in the smaller city of Alicante. Valencia is one of Spain's most important economic and tourist centres and the province has 2.2 million inhabitants. The province of Alicante has a population of 1.5 million and is also a major tourist destination. The two provinces together represent approximately 10% of both Spain's annual advertising expenditure and gross domestic product (GDP).

Metro will provide the international and national editorial content ofthe new editions while Ediciones Primera Plana will provide the localeditorial content. Similarly, Metro will be responsible for nationaladvertising sales whilst local sales will be directed by EdicionesPrimera Plana. The two groups will share the advertising revenuesgenerated by the cooperation that is built on the local group's alreadyprofitable operations. Metro also retains an option to acquire anequity interest in Ediciones Primera Plana in the future.

Pelle Tornberg, President and CEO, commented: ``Our Spanish operationshave grown rapidly and were profitable only one year after their launchin 2001. As the largest newspaper in Spain with a high proportion ofyoung readers, Metro offers a clearly differentiated reach foradvertisers. This agreement with a successful local media groupreflects the editorial and sales synergies that can be achieved throughsuch affiliations, and will serve to promote Valencia and Alicanteinternationally".

Metro also today announced the launch of a new edition in Denmark tocover 10 new cities and the launch of a new edition in the French cityof Lille. Metro is now present in five French cities and has nationalcoverage in Denmark. In total, today's new editions will result in thedistribution of 140,000 additional daily copies of Metro.

"Our expansion in France and Denmark, with the launch of two new editions this morning, is based on the same model of offering advertisers a unique combination of local, regional, national and multinational packages," said Pelle Tornberg.

For further information, please visit, email or contact: Pelle Tornberg, President & CEO tel: +44 (0) 20 7016 1300 Matthew Hooper, Investor & Press Relations tel: +44 (0) 20 7321 5010

Metro is the world's largest newspaper, publishing and distributing 34 Metro editions in 16 countries in Europe, North & South America and Asia. Metro attracts 13 million daily readers in more than 60 cities around the world with an easy to read combination of headline local and international news and information. Metro International S.A. `A' and `B' shares are listed on the Stockholmsborsen `O-List'.

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