Metro International, the Swedish-based publisher of free daily newspapers in over 100 cities around the world, has made a profit for only the second time in its history.
The company posted a net profit of €4 ($5.5/£3.39) million in 2010 compared to a loss of €21.7 ($29.83/£18.42) millionin 2009.
Chief executive Per Mikael Jensen said the company’s performance had “improved quarter by quarter” since the final three months of 2009.
The best growth was in Sweden, Canada, Hong Kong, Russia and Latin America, while advertising sales in France, Holland and Denmark were weak.
The fourth quarter of 2010 was crucial, with sales jumping 15% to €70.5 ($96.9/£59.83) million, up from €5.9 ($8.11/£5.01) million in the same period the year before.
Metro international was launched in Sweden in 1995 and is published in 19 countries. The only previous year it has returned a profit, albeit a small one, was in 2006.
NB: Copies of the Metro distributed in Britain and Ireland are published by Associated Newspapers – and have made bumper profits for years.
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.