Metro International, the Luxembourg-headquartered (but Swedish-owned) publisher of free daily newspapers in sixteen countries, has announced a 50% increase in sales over the last twelve months.

Fuelled by launches this year in Bordeaux and New York, Metro's global readership now totals 14.5 million daily -- a record for any international publication, Metro claims. Europe accounts for 10.3m of that total.

The publisher is also celebrating champagne demographics. According to a survey by TNS Gallup, Metro's core readership encompasses the 25-34 age group, caviar to media buyers.

The freebie newspaper stable is also enjoying success with transnational ad sales (advertisers booking space in more than one country as part of a package deal). Such transactions have increased by 66% to £15.4m over the last twelve months, thanks to participants like British Airways, Nokia, Toyota, Ikea and Vodafone.

Crows Metro vp global advertising sales, Lawson Muncaster: "Multinational advertisers are responding to our strategy of providing a consistent, young, urban audience in big numbers across our network. We are flexible too and listen to our customers to create packages that support their needs – be they multimarket or pan-regional."

Data sourced from: Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff