smiths news van

Smiths News said it was “on track” in its latest management statement

Smiths News has posted a drop in total sales for the 19 weeks to 11 January.

The newspaper and magazine wholesaler said total group sales fell 0.4% year-on-year, but it remained “on track to deliver strong growth in underlying profit before tax for the year to 31 August in line with market expectations”.

Sales were dragged down by its core Smiths News division, where sales fell 2%, or by 2.8% on a like-for-like basis.

It said its newspaper and magazine performance was “marginally above” recent run rates, but full-year expectations remained “in line with last year’s performance”.

There was better news for its Consortium educational supplies arm and Media business, which posted positive like-for-like growth of 4.2% and 0.2%.

However, like-for-likes in its Bertrams book business fell 0.4%.