Newspaper and magazine distributor Dawson Holdings' half-year pre-tax profit to 1 April fell 17.4% to £7.6m on sales down 4% at £344.5m.

Peter Harris, chief executive of Dawson Holdings, said that the company was continuing to evaluate opportunities for the geographical expansion of Dawson News.

He added: “Trading since the period end is in line with expectations against a backdrop of tough trading conditions.”