Swedish firm starts paper in capital of Guatemala

Today when newspaper publishers are desperately trying to move to the Internet and dump their expensive paper products, a Swedish company is starting a new print newspaper in Guatemala.

Metro International S.A., the international newspaper group, announced Tuesday that it has entered into a joint venture and franchise agreement in Guatemala with Grupo de Emisoras Unidas, one of the leading media groups in Guatemala. A new edition of Metro, under the brand name Publinews was launched in Guatemala City, the capital. Guatemala is the first step in Central America and will be used as a hub for future expansions in the region, Metro said.

Guatemala City has approximately 3 million people. It is home to the Central American headquarters of many media agencies and international clients, the firm said. The local advertising market is about 66 million euros, making it the largest market in the Central American region. The new edition will be the first free print newspaper in Guatemala. It will have an initial distribution of 84,000 daily copies and will be hand delivered Monday to Friday by distributors at strategic locations to reach the target audience, Metro said.

“Metro Guatemala will be Metro’s fifth country in Latin America in addition to Chile, Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador – consolidating our position as the largest newspaper in the fast growing Latin American region,” said Per Mikael Jensen, president and CEO of Metro International. “Guatemala is one of the most attractive markets in Central America and can become a platform to develop future investments in Central America. Launching in new markets through franchise agreements with local partners has proven to be a very efficient way for Metro to penetrate new markets and to quickly establish a strong market position.”

“Publinews is an important step in consolidating GEU’s vision to form a strong media group with operation in radio, outdoor advertising, cable TV, interactive media and print,” said Rolando Archila, CEO of Grupo de Emisoras Unidas. “We are very pleased to have been chosen by Metro International as their partner to develop this project, which will be the first free print newspaper in Central America.”

Metro is published in over 100 major cities in 19 countries across Europe, North and South America and Asia. Metro said it has a unique global reach attracting a young, active, well-educated metropolitan audience of 17 million daily readers.

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