Menzies Distribution has reported a 2.8% fall in full-year sales.

The newspaper and magazine wholesaler said on Tuesday its sales dropped from £1.337bn to £1.299bn in the year to 31 December 2012. Underlying operating profits were flat at £28.8m.

Menzies blamed the continued decline in newspaper and magazine sales for the fall. Like-for-like magazine sales fell 6% during the year, while like-for-like newspaper sales fell 3%, despite being ahead of expectation thanks to cover price increases.

Menzies Distribution’s parent company John Menzies, which also has an aviation business, reported largely flat group sales of £1.996bn. Pre-tax profits fell 39% to £32m, although underlying profits rose 16%.

“Trading at Menzies Distribution in its core business has continued to be challenging with weekly magazines in particular continuing to underperform,” said chairman Iain Napier.

“However, the Orbital Marketing Services business acquired in November 2012 is performing well with integration plans and synergy benefits on track. In addition, contract negotiations with a number of publishers continue and it is expected a number of these will be concluded during the year,” he added.