Smiths News has reported a drop in sales of almost 6% in its latest trading statement.

The news wholesaler said like-for-like sales were down 5.7% in the 19 weeks to 8 January, with total revenues down 5.5%.

That was despite winning new regional press contracts worth £7m during the period. Additional new contracts were in the pipeline, the company claimed.

Despite the continuing slowdown, which has hit sales of magazines harder than newspapers, Smiths said cost-cutting measures meant it was on track to grow pre-tax profits.

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