Smiths News has suffered a drop in full-year revenues of more than 5%, as newspaper and magazine sales continue to fall.

However, while group sales dropped from £1.8bn to £1.7bn in the year to 31 August, pre-tax profits rose 10% to £38.6m.

“Operational efficiency underpins this result, having exceeded our three-year cost savings target of £20m in one year,” said chief executive Mark Cashmore.

Newspaper like-for-like sales fell 2.5% during the period. That represented an improvement on the previous year, when the decline was more than 4%, with declining volumes partially offset by cover price increases.

Core weekly and monthly magazine like-for-like sales were down 6.7%.

Cashmore insisted the figures were in line with the company’s strategy, adding: “We are driving base business revenues, having successfully acquired Dawson Holdings, giving greater access to international and digital books markets.”

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