Smiths News has reported a 2% increase in group sales for the 19 weeks to 12 January, despite a continuing slide in newspaper and magazine sales.

Sales were boosted by the newspaper and magazine wholesaler’s acquisition of The Consortium in April 2012, as well as a strong performance from its Bertrams books business – up 4.5%.

However, sales fell 1.9% in its core Smiths News arm, with like-for-likes down 4.7%.  

“Both newspaper and magazine performance is broadly in line with recent run rates and with expectations,” Smiths News said it a statement.

It added: “The group remains on track to deliver strong growth in underlying profit before tax for the year to 31 August 2013, in line with market consensus.”